Is there any ID out there?

Linkedin Post 4-final

Who hasn’t heard about it – the cookie and identity crisis in the programmatic and ad tech industry? To talk about this topic we invited Joanna Burton, Chief Strategy Officer of ID5. Joanna has an extensive background in advertising and has worked on the agency side, the publisher side and for several tech platforms, DSPs, SSPs, and DMPs. Who better to have this conversation with?
ID5 was developed to improve identity and protect user privacy in the digital advertising ecosystem. With the idea, to solve the problem of cookie matching and to create a universal identifier for the digital advertising ecosystem that replaces third-party cookies and operates like a currency, a way of trading across the open web.

Joanna shared her insights and point of view about cookies, GDPR, privacy, and data with us. Here’s what she has to say:
[…] “And when it comes to consumers, we’re convinced that you can do identity in a completely privacy-compliant way. And that’s the aim of the business to create this new infrastructure that protects the user’s privacy that has a built-in understanding of what data the user is willing to share and what they’re not. And that that’s protected throughout the advertising ecosystem. And I also think there’s another part to it, which is, you talk about users sacrificing, I feel that it’s a value exchange, really, in many parts of the world, we have access to great written content, great videos, great audio podcasts in return for having advertising. So it’s like an ad-funded web. And I’m not really sacrificing anything, and I understand the exchange. So I think there may be a lack of understanding around the value exchange, but I wouldn’t say sacrifice. I’d say absolutely making it work better?” […]
[…] “So for the consumer, they should be able to have more targeted advertising and more bespoke experience, you know, you could just think about something such as location, or user can have advertising targeted specifically to their location, not things that are not available in their region, not stuff that priced in dollars, if they’re in Europe, that kind of thing. So very specifically to that advertising user experience that works for them. And similarly, you know, the same first party signals that Id five uses that were built on the same set of signals that website would use to customize the content on the site.” […]
[…] “And I think, you know, when it comes to the value exchange, I think it’s a bit unfair on the open web, actually, because I do think that a lot of consumers understand you, maybe you get a brand cheaper, if you’re prepared to give up your data, or you get offers if you subscribe to their database you get offers. So the brand and the consumer have that conversation about what they get in return for giving up their data.” […]
[…] “Yeah, well, just to level set on what’s going on and why this is such a hot topic. So the current solution, the most widely adopted solution to identify users to understand the ads they’ve clicked on the ads, they’ve seen the pages they’ve visited, whether they’ve been exposed or not. All of that, for targeting for frequency capping and optimization is most commonly based on user ID stored in third-party cookies. And then these user IDs stored in third-party cookies are synced between the different players in ad tech. This causes page latency. It also causes potential data to catch with other people having access to that information stored in a third-party cookie. And it’s not privacy compliant. But it is widely adopted that now, there are several forces at play. There’s legislation that you mentioned. So like the GDPR and CCPA. But there are also commercial decisions made by the walled gardens and the browsers. So a couple of browsers, a few browsers have already decided to not work with third-party cookies, which means their users are not, there’s no user ID stored in third-party cookies already in browsers such as Safari. And Chrome announced that they would also deprecate third-party cookies in their Chrome browser, the browser owned by Google, which has the largest market share in the world. […] So this means that the advertising industry has more time to prepare, and more time to migrate to a cookieless solution. Because in this point, in the future, there will not be access to third-party cookies, no access to user IDs, no way to recognize that a user has visited your site or interacted with your advert to frequency cap across multiple sites, this is important for user experience as well. To be able to address the user with something specific for them, like maybe targeted on location or targeted their social demo, or you know, whatever targeting works for that brand. And then in addition to that happening on websites, mobile ad IDs have been blocked from Apple from iOS. And that’s already happened. And it’ll be interesting to see how other mobile companies, you know how Google will respond to that one. But there’s already as we said, there’s already an audience of users on Safari and Firefox, which are commonly referred to as cookie list browsers for ease. But it’s third-party cookie list browsers. So there’s already an audience there that publishers and advertisers find harder to address. And so as an advertising industry, we’ve started a migration so that we can look for a new infrastructure that doesn’t rely on cookies and doesn’t rely on mobile ad IDs. But it’s also less dependent on the walled gardens. And we need one that that, as we were talking about, enables the user to have ultimately more control and transparency over their data.” […]

[…] “So what’s critical is that there is a stable, consistent ID that can be understood by various different parties. So that’s really the important part. So at the moment, you’ve got user IDs stored on third-party cookies. And actually, every time you work in the avid digital advertising ecosystem, you need to do a cookie match, you need to do cookies. And there are some inefficiencies in that process. There are, you know, technology investments you can make to improve it. But there are some inefficiencies that mean, you end up with a diminishing audience over time, and you’ve got less access to one stable, consistent identifier over time that everybody can understand. This is why we say we’re like a currency for the advertising ecosystem, creating a stable identifier per user or per device, so per person per device, we don’t link devices. But we can look at the same person over multiple domains using that device. And it’s stable and consistent. And it can be understood as easily via publisher as it can by an advertiser, or a DSP, a DMP, and an SSP. But when we share that identifier, we share it in an encrypted way, it has to include the permissions of the user. And it has to be stable. And it has to work universally so that people can understand it on both sides. And our approach to doing that is to separate data and identity. So the publisher keeps the data on their side, an agency or an advertiser keeps the data that they know about that individual, and all we’re passing is a pseudonymous identifier, like a pseudonym, you could say for each individual user, that doesn’t contain any information about them. But you can find out who it is. And if you already know something about them, you can use that information when you look to do your bid logic.” […]

[…] “So that does very often collapse into a conversation about how logged in consumers maybe have more value, if they’ve authenticated, then probabilistic. And I don’t think that’s true. So I also don’t think that just because a user has given up their email address, you have the right to advertise to them. Depending on the region, there’s quite a lot of legislation about ensuring that they know, that they’ve understood. And so just because they’ve given you the email address doesn’t mean to say you have the right to advertise?” […]
[…] “I doubt it. Okay, I think, for the walled gardens, for the big social networks, they have a lot of very rich data. And they can offer excellent targeting, based on data and optimization within their walled gardens. And they can all probably see more revenue that way, as if publishers are not able to offer the same if publishers can’t continue to identify users in a way that works for the agencies and advertisers and the ad tech ecosystem, then we could see the walls getting ever higher at the walled gardens. So for me, this is very much a conversation about the open web or the free web or being able to provide free content to people, not specific content that people are prepared to pay for that may be fixed, just one political viewpoint or one specific topic, you know, being able to have an open web.” […]
[…] “If you don’t see if you don’t have the right to advertise, if you haven’t got the consent to advertise that user, then you could look to do something like contextual. But if you have consent, you need consent in Europe to use the IP address, so you need consent for an email address in Europe. So if you have consent you can do targeted advertising to that individual, and DSPs can really excel at that. And the different DSPs around the world that you know, that have different propositions for their advertisers can use this in any way that works for them. So we’re not competing with DSPs. We’re not competing with DMPs. And so another reason that we’ve grown so much is so they can use this technology inside the business in a way that works for them. So I think it’s good for DSPs of all sizes. And while we’re on the topic of the demand side, another interesting point is I typically don’t talk to advertisers and agencies, or at least I haven’t in the past, because we very much see this as an advertising input. Structure issue. We think this is something that can be fixed by the clever people that work on the infrastructure side, in the DSPS, SSPs, and DMPS. And the advertiser shouldn’t have to get involved in this, it should just work for them. For an advertiser, they shouldn’t care whether their DSP is using Amazon Web Services or as your or another cloud service, it should just work. It’s a commodity. So we want to be a commodity, and I am happy to talk to any advertisers. And I have actually done quite a few presentations in the advertising community. But really, the problem can be fixed by the DSP that they’re using, and the DMP so that the advertiser can reach the audience that they want to target now on in the browsers that are cookieless and also in the future without the advertiser having to get into the weeds of how the infrastructure works.” […]

[…] “Yeah, so we actually were integrated with a lot of European DSPs and DMPs. We are a global company. But a lot of the early adopters have been more on the European side. And I think that speaks to a greater concern for privacy in Europe, and a more established conversation with the users around things like privacy actually I feel like the IRB has done great work with the transparency and consent framework and setting the standards helping educate the audience. So most of the SSPs around the world, including those active across Europe, and then also several DSPs and DMPs. Some other more, some other American DSPs, American-born DSPs. […] But for a brand, I would say, take the advice of your agency, take the advice of the DSP that you’re working with or other data platforms that you’re working with. And also look to podcasts like yours, and a range of access of the information you can access on the internet, and also from the industry bodies, who’s who helps set the standards and regulations around this.” […] 

[…] “In five years from today, I think there won’t be third-party cookies available on the major browsers. But we will have moved to a more privacy-compliant advertising technology ecosystem. I think that the technology will just work based on first-party identifiers opted in by consumers probably in most cases, I suspect, we will move to opt-ins in the US as well. And the users will hopefully have a better understanding of the value exchange, they’re more likely to opt-in, and they understand this better in five years’ time. And the privacy infrastructure will just work based on identifiers like ID5, I also think that they’ll still be buying inside the walled gardens with rich data, and they’ll still be a market for that. And then I think there’ll be cohort solutions and contextual targeting solutions for users that have not opted in and where you’re targeting them not on a personally identifiable behavior basis. I am very hopeful that the advertising technology industry will continue to innovate and find new solutions, especially around measurement and attribution. Because we need wide adoption in that area, with universal identity as well. So I think that a lot of publishers don’t get a fair attribution for the role that they played in the touchpoints, the role they played in the final result, whether it was a purchase, a click, or whatever, they were being KPIs on to drive. So I think that that will improve. And that I’m hoping there will still be a rich array of many publishers on the open web, running sustainable businesses and advertisers having effective results from operating but in a more privacy-compliant way.” […]
Edited for clarity. “We” refers in context to ID5.

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