IAB Tech Lab Launches New Security Protocols and Paves the way for Contextual CTV

Hot out of the IAB Tech Lab are two important new initiatives designed to make the digital ecosystem more seamless, transparent, and secure.  

ads.cert 2.0, an initiative that uses cryptographic technologies to secure transactions end-to-end and the updated Content Taxonomy 3.0 structure supporting contextual buying for connected TV (CTV), are now out for public commentary. 

ads.cert 2.0 establishes a common framework and guidelines for safe and transparent transactions across ad buying and selling through a number of security protocols 

  • The “ads.cert Call Signs” protocol defines a mechanism that enables businesses to be able to formally identify other businesses involved in any one transaction. It does this by using DNS records to publish public keys and metadata about the businesses involved.  
  • The “ads.cert Authenticated Connections” protocol adds origin authentication and tamper resistance to any request made server-to-server, such as bid request, creative fetches, impression pings, and billing notifications.  
  • The “ads.cert Authenticated Delivery” protocol will authenticate the data in a bid request and enables buyers to identify if any of the bid parameters had been tampered with or changed from the original source.  
  • The “ads.cert Authenticated Devices” protocol will support attestation from the manufacturer about the legitimacy of the device the ad is being served on.  

This initial release of ads.cert 2.0 will address Server-Side Ad Insertion (SSAI) related ad fraud. Applying the Authenticated Connections protocols to SSAI billing notifications helps ensure that the sources of invoices for CTV inventory can be confirmed. Future releases will work on securing other aspects such as bid requests, Supply Chain Object, Device attestation, etc.   

Review the proposed standard here and provide your feedback by October 30th, 2021.  

Equally valuable, the release of the IAB Tech Lab Content Taxonomy 3.0 structure will enable buyers across the globe to use an easy-to-understand language across the entire advertising ecosystem to segment and categorize all content in a brand safe way. Providing an improved set of categories and vectors to support buying on CTV/Video, Podcasts, Games, and Mobile Apps this essential tool will help the buy-side better describe and monetize News content – something we all know consumers value and trust. 

The latest update includes: 

  • CTV/Video: For the first time, CTV buyers and sellers can leverage the IAB Content Taxonomy for contextual targeting, using the new “entertainment genres” that have been added.  
  • News Content:  With Content Taxonomy 3.0, buyers have even more clarity over the type of news they are advertising against. More vectors were added, to provide buyers more information about the type of news content they are supporting. The “Content Purpose” vector includes News, Opinions & Op Eds, Reviews, etc. In addition, news content is now not limited to just the “Politics and News” category, which has been removed. 
  • Podcasts, Games, and Mobile Apps: These categories were added to better support these forms of media, including mappings to the categories supported by the most common platforms for each. 

The full proposal can be found here and is open for public comment until October 22nd, 2021.  

“IAB Tech Lab continues to forge ahead with vital tools for the industry. Addressing Server-Side Ad Insertion fraud is another step towards securing the supply chain and adds another layer of confidence to the media buying community. Separately, Content Taxonomy 3.0 is a critical standard for the next generation of cookieless advertising. Contextual advertising is having a renaissance, and this updated tool from the Tech Lab will help drive innovation forward around the world”, said Sonia Carreno, President, IAB Canada.  

If you have any questions or would like information on how to get more involved with the IAB Tech Lab please reach out to memberships@iabcanada.com