IAB Tech Lab to Release Technical Standards to Balance Privacy and an Ad Supported Internet for Public Commentary 

The release of IAB Tech Lab’s Global Privacy Platform this quarter marks an achievement of enormous effort involving stakeholders working together from across the globe for over 2 years. This week, Anthony Katsur, CEO of IAB Tech Lab, shared his thoughts on this milestone in this week’s Ad Exchanger’s “Data Driven Thinking. He expressed his views on the current state of the digital revolution and the role of IAB Tech Lab in the future of privacy controls and compliance. 

Katsur kicked things off by boldly stating that we need to find a balance between privacy and an ad supported media ecosystem and that we are firmly in a place where “no one will tolerate half measures going forward.” He added, “The world has changed, and the digital advertising industry must change with it today.” Any industry solution developed needs to address both and fortunately the IAB Tech Lab (and its global membership) are doing just that with their practical technical standards built on a “foundation of transparency, control and accountability”. 

If industry is going to gain back user trust and get regulators on-side, we need to be clear about what is being done with the data being collected and transparent in how a user’s choice is being respected in compliance with local laws. These two developments coming out of the IAB Tech Lab will clearly help get us there: 

  1. The Global Privacy Platform (GPP) 

To help manage the never-ending patchwork of privacy legislation (and consent requirements), IAB Tech Lab has been working overtime to build a practical and sustainable approach to meeting the privacy needs of both consumers and advertisers. 

Building off the broad adoption of both the TCF in Europe and the work done in U.S. to manage the CCPA, the GPP is a singular (yet open and flexible) transmission protocol for real-time transparency and control signals from platforms, sites, apps, and users. This technical standard will include the privacy signals already in market while also accommodating the updates required in response to the recent Belgian DPA ruling. The policies for our local market – in compliance to PIPEDA and the soon to be enforced Quebec legislation – will feed into this global platform resulting in a more efficient and flexible approach to the present and future. 

  1. Accountability Platform 

Designed to check an organization’s compliance homework, this new platform will reveal whether companies receiving privacy signals are conforming to them (via a set of standard practices intended to reliably demonstrate, via standard data structures, and reporting) and prevent bad actors from gaming the system. It will also be expanded to eventually expose privacy and consent signal tampering. While standards alone cannot guarantee conformity, the aim of this design is to lay a foundation for continuous improvement in pursuit of a future where, for digital advertising people, trust that data is used, or not, in the ways they expect. It will be ready for public commentary later this year. 

These two important outputs complement one another and put our industry firmly on the path towards greater accountability enabling us to satisfy regulators and consumers while delivering digital advertising experiences that allow business to thrive. 

“Solving for issues of this global magnitude takes time”, said Sonia Carreno, President of IAB Canada. “Fortunately, we have a strong foundation of learning from IAB Europe and, as we gain valuable constructive feedback from the authorities in one of the most strictly regulated markets via the APD, our efforts to improve the existing widely adopted framework will ensure the entire industry is well-served.” 

We look forward to welcoming Tony to present the 2022/23 technical roadmap at of our upcoming State of the Nation event. Register here.