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Weekly Roundup: Prebid includes Unified ID solution, Probe Against Adtech, and More!

Adtech Weekly roundup
“We’re not even 20% of the way through what GDPR means for the industry. There is a long way to go.”

Prebid includes unified ID solution into its open-source wrapper

Last year, we’ve discussed The Trade Desk’s unified ID solution and how it is poised to help the open internet thrive in the midst of duopoly.

The idea is simple. Instead of allowing multiple vendors to drop their own cookies and IDs for a user, everyone can use a common ID – from The Trade Desk. In other words, the unified ID solution aims to rid of the inefficient cookie syncing process by providing a common cookie footprint (facilitated by The Trade Desk) for all the adtech vendors. Once adopted, this could improve the match rates to an impressive level, which, in turn, can increase revenue for publishers and ROI for advertisers.

So far, several supply-side platforms including Index Exchange, OpenX, Rubicon Project,  and PubMatic have adopted the unified ID solution.

Continuing its expansion, The Trade Desk recently announced that the company partnered with Prebid.org, an open-sourced industry-wide initiative helping publishers to implement header bidding to offers its ID. It means the unified ID solution will be available for all the prebid publishers.

Prebid is the most-used client-side wrapper and 1000s of publishers have been using it to run header auctions. With this roll-out, The Trade Desk hopes to further push its ID-based solution across the ecosystem.

“ID matching is a critical component of the buying and selling ecosystem. The entire industry benefits by speaking the same cookie identity language. The Trade Desk’s unified ID solution is one way for publishers to standardise the cookie matching process and share cookie identity as a common, community tool”

– Alexandra Smith, Chair of Prebid.org.

Takeaway:

Apparently, as a publisher, you can bypass the cookie syncing process and improve match rates with unified ID. This benefits all the parties involved in the industry. Once we’ve adopted an ID solution (be it from The Trade Desk or Ad ID Consortium), publishers can also reduce their page load time by cleaning up the unnecessary third-party cookies on their pages. There’s a problem though – we still need cookies.

Probes against adtech

It’s been a year since GDPR came into effect. We’ve been talking about the complaints against the ad tech vendors, IAB, and recently, real-time bidding, here. Last week, there are a couple more probes initiated against Google, RTB, and Quantcast (you read it right).

First, Google:

It’s been a while since Google faced a fine of £44M from CNIL for being not “specific” and “unambiguous” on its privacy/opting-out pages. Though the company has been criticized before, Irish data regulator opened a probe against Google’s ubiquitous ad exchange product (Google Ad Exchange) for the first time.

Wondering what are they digging into?

Processing of personal data. Particularly, the regulator wants to ensure the personal data collected from the users for targeting ads are processed as per the consent at each stage of the advertising process.  

Next up, RTB:

To be honest, it’s not entirely new. This February, in our weekly roundup, we saw that Panoptykon Foundation, a Polish privacy watchdog launched a probe against RTB citing that the way we transact media isn’t secure.

The main argument is that the personal information of a user is broad-casted to numerous third-parties and the taxonomy to categorize users – are violating article 5 of GDPR. Last week, RTB faces scrutiny from four more EU markets – Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Spain.

If you want to know IAB’s counter-argument, head here.

Now, Quantcast:

Quantcast gained traction among the publisher for its Consent Management Platform (CMP) and it is the largest CMP in use, as per Adzerk’s CMP tracker. And, it passes more impressions through its CMP than any other CMPs, according to IAB Europe.

The CMP is brought to attention for its data collecting practices and Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC) is investigating whether the company has “legitimate” business purposes to collect data it has been accruing from the users. Besides, the regulator is expected to scrutinize “transparency and retention practices”.

Takeaway:

The probes against RTB is a concern for all of the vendors and publishers. IAB aims to resolve it with its revised framework TCF 2.0. Probes and complaints are expected and we believe it will improve the ecosystem, as a whole. As always, we’ll let you know what happens next.

1 year of GDPR

GDPR, a privacy law predicted to radically impact the online advertising industry is live for a year. It’s true that the industry scrambled to stay compliant at first. But with the launch of CMP, daisybit, and TCF, we later settled on the framework.

Now, any publisher in the EU has three options:

– Run the site without any ads for EU users.

– Block the site completely for EU users.

– Implement a CMP and get consent to deliver personalized ads.

Of all three, the last option is understandably the most popular one. As per Teads, 63% of publisher traffic is filtered via CMP and on average, 95% of the users gave consent to get personalized ads. Of course, it’s a good sign that CMPs are working.

But did the users actually gave “informed” consent to the publishers and the vendors? That’s a question with no easy answer. Especially, considering the way publishers presenting their purposes using different CMPs, it’s difficult to give a binary answer.

On the other hand, many fear that complacency is looming over the ecosystem. Even with the completion of one year, no businesses have been fined. The only exception is Google and it appealed against the complaint/fine. Some began to question the law as they don’t want to be the one who followed the rules while others didn’t.

“The data policy and competition policy is now a global discussion. That is by far the most material change.”

– Jason Kint, CEO, Digital Content Next.

Takeaway:

We feel that the media hyped the immediate (potential) impact of GDPR on the ecosystem and ignored the long-term implications.  

“We’re not even 20% of the way through what GDPR means for the industry. There is a long way to go.”

–  Stuart Colman, vp sales at InfoSum.

If you’re the one who adheres to the law, it’s better to stay that way. As we all know, privacy is becoming a ‘must’ for ad tech. The industry will gradually propel to solve the complaints and put out the scrutinies. Either you keep moving with it or you may be compelled to start from scratch when everyone else is clean.

Moments that Matter

Advertiser spend on digital video up +25% on last year – ClickZ.

Mr. O’Kelley Goes To Washington, Calls For a Breakup Of Google – AdExchanger.

Ad Fraud To Reach $42B This Year Says Juniper – Which-50.

Apple has a plan to make online ads more private – TechCrunch.

Automatad Team

At Automatad, we help publishers to monetize better without hampering the user experience. Our products are live across hundreds of publishers, earning them incremental ad revenue with every passing second. You can request a free audit to get an estimated revenue uplift today.

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