IAB Tech Lab Updates OpenRTB to Support Privacy Sandbox’s Protected Audience API 

The IAB Tech Lab recently introduced updates to the OpenRTB standard—core to programmatic advertising—to align with Google’s Privacy Sandbox’s Protected Audience API. These updates represent a pivotal step towards helping the advertising industry seamlessly transition to privacy-conscious ad models when operating on the changes driven by the eventual independence of third-party cookies. 

What is the Protected Audience API? 

The Protected Audience API (PAAPI) enables a new form of real-time bidding that runs directly in users’ browsers. This change means the bidding process now includes additional steps, with the traditional server-side auction setting the stage for the browser-based auction. 

OpenRTB Updates 

The modifications to OpenRTB are a collaborative effort led by the Privacy Sandbox as part of the OpenRTB subgroup within the IAB Tech Lab. New attributes and objects have been added to the OpenRTB framework to enable more efficient communication within this adjusted bidding process. Sellers use the igs attribute (InterestGroupAuctionSupport) to signal the availability of the Protected Audience Auction, while buyers use the igi attribute (InterestGroupAuctionIntent) to indicate their intent to participate. 

Navigating the road ahead 

The Privacy Sandbox in the OpenRTB subgroup will continue to refine how OpenRTB is used within the Protected Audience Auction, focusing on metadata communication and bid/creative handling. The IAB Tech Lab emphasizes that OpenRTB continues to evolve to support the unique requirements of the Privacy Sandbox. While the protocol remains broadly applicable, certain attributes will be context-specific, as with the new igs and igi attributes. 

“These updates mark an important development in the communications between buyers and sellers in the programmatic eco-system. In times of change, ease of use and standardization are essential to drive adoption and a level of confidence in operationalizing new methods of transactions.” said Sonia Carreno, President of IAB Canada. “We’re excited about the work that is being done to close the gaps that have been flagged in the face of cookie deprecation. The more we collaborate to refine OpenRTB, the better prepared the industry will be”.  

OpenRTB has been instrumental in the success of programmatic advertising. These updates demonstrate its continued adaptability and potential to shape the industry’s trajectory. These highlight the industry’s commitment to driving innovation while prioritizing user privacy. 

You can read the full article by IAB Tech Lab here

If you are an IAB Canada member interested in joining IAB Tech Lab to contribute to these initiatives, please contact us at membership@iabcanada.com for information on getting involved.