IAB Tech Lab at IAB Canada’s National Uninterrupted Town Hall Event

Part 2 of 3: A recap of the State of the Nation event submitted by IAB Canada contributor: Polina Moliboga-Fuchs

At last week’s IAB Canada’s State of the Nation event, IAB Tech Lab’s Jill Wittkopp, Director of Product and Jordan Mitchell, Senior Vice President, Privacy, Identity & Data, delivered a detailed presentation about the more technical industry developments impacting today’s urgency for transparency, security and efficiency.

IAB Tech Lab’s work includes the development of a number of standards and services across these critical areas of the digital advertising industry:

  • Identity, Data and Privacy
  • Brand Safety and Ad Fraud
  • Ad Experiences and Measurement
  • Programmatic Effectiveness

The top four 2020 global priorities (and associated projects) for Tech Lab included:

  1. Enabling privacy-centric addressability and smooth transition to “id-less/cookie/less” environment.
    • Enabling privacy-centric addressability and smooth transition to “id-less/cookie/less” environment through Project Rearc
    • Working towards a solution that furthers the open web that continues to build and allows for innovation of content and services across the open web experience with the consumer at the centre of it all
    • Transparency on consumer choices and controls across experiences with first parties that they trust and then via extension with third-party vendors that those first parties utilize.
    • New technical standards and guidelines, and more accountability and compliance.
  1. Provide technical solution(s) for privacy to support compliance with local laws.
    • Sunsetting DigiTrust Consent Management Platform (CMP)
    • Recent release of specification for CCPA deletion handling – a qualified deletion request should be passed down to service providers. Tech Lab helped design a transaction mechanism that it is essentially a way for publishers to tell their partners that they received a request for deletion so that their partners to confirm the receipt of that request.
    • IAB Europe’s Transparency and consent framework v2 to be released in August 2020
    • (New) Global Privacy Framework
  1. Promote supply chain transparency for brand safety fraud and data decisions.
    • Sellers to buyer signalling: ads/app-ads.txt (incl. CTV), sellers.json, SupplyChain object – technical specifications to let the buyers know that these are authorized sellers
    • (NEW) ctv-ads.txt
    • txt aggregator enhancement
    • (NEW) Buyers to sellers: buyers.json, Ad Mgmt API,
    • Taxonomy and OM SDK enhancements for brand safety
    • Data Transparency/Label – the industry’s nutrition label for audience buys
  1. Improve measurement and attribution accuracy and consistency
    • Open measurement SDK for web video – that initially started for applications. Instead of publishers installing individual SDKs, they can install one main SDK that will cover all. Tech Lab is working on extending it for web-video and CTV later this year.
    • Initial proposal for OM SDK for CTV
    • Podcast measurement technical guidelines
    • VAST 4.2/SIMID/OM (incl. CATS & AdCOM

The Tech Lab presentation made it very clear, that where personal data and personal identifiers are concerned, we are moving into a privacy-by-default world and as a result, first party data is well positioned to form bridges of trusted relationships with consumers while capturing demographic and behavioural data through meaningful consent and deterministic means like authenticated and secured emails, logins, etc.

Jordan dove deeper into the authenticated consumer front, enabling privacy and accountability across a trusted supply chain. With a major focus on consumer private data and identifiers, and the fact that this information has to be used within privacy compliance. Here he focused on four core elements:

  • Ensuring responsible use of consumer-provided identifiers.
  • Allowing third parties to execute on behalf of trusted first parties, without enabling third-party tracking or personal data leakage.
  • Standardized consumer messaging, policies, disclosures, controls.
  • Tech standards and accountability/compliance mechanisms.

Tech Lab members engaged in Project Rearc are essentially playing a 3D chess match which entails the paternalistic association that represents the browsers making decisions on the elimination of cookies (W3C) and browser standards they are aligning to, trade alignment across all stakeholders, and legal process – all resting on the table of system-level accountability. Mitchell alluded to the importance of accountability; “If we don’t have real accountability, the whole table will shake, and all pieces will fall”.

The current strategy is comprised these factors:

  1. We need to pay close attention to what is happening on the W3C front and browser cooperation. There does not appear to be a rigorous process in place and they have not outlined any standards to date – it is still in discussion stages.
  2. Education – We need to educate ourselves, everyone from new folks in the industry, to mid-level and senior level, along with regulators and privacy engineers and advocacy spokespeople.
  3. Lean in with industry trade organizations – we need to work together. This can and should be used not only for web but for app and CTV as well.
  4. Rigorous execution toward critical deliverables.

IAB Canada has been heavily involved in the global Rearc discussions and urges all of its members to reach out to rearc@iabcanada.com to lean in and help shape the future of the industry! If you are an IAB Canada member and wish to take advantage of our significantly reduced membership fee for the IAB Tech Lab, please contact us at memberships@iabcanada.com.