IAB Tech Lab’s Roadmap of Standards for a Brighter (more transparent) Future

After Google hit pause on cookie deprecation this summer, the digital advertising industry took a collective breath and then promptly got back to work. One industry expert at this weeks’ IAB Tech Lab Addressability Road show recalls – it was the moment when stakeholders of all sizes took firm hold of their power and the destiny of our industry dreaming up the new future reality with newfound sense of optimism and integrity. Staying true to their roots, the global IABs and the IAB Tech Lab spent 2021 leading the charge to educate members and develop standards around addressability and accountability which will allow the value of targeted advertising to shine through via the spectrum of options that are on the horizon. 

A panel of industry experts sat down yesterday to discuss the new reality and one thing was made abundantly clear – there is no easy way out – and to change the current perception of our industry it is going to take hard work from all ends of the supply chain. This will undoubtedly result in higher levels of consumer trust and a competitive advantage to those who take part (and maybe even some positive acknowledgment from regulators). Hiding behind contracts and privacy policies is no longer enough and we need to create standards that are easier to understand and enforce if we are to have the scale, we are looking for in the post 3rd party cookie world.  

As an extensive cast of identifiers are preparing to hit centre stage, the industry critically needed a tool to provide companies with a way to disclose which unique-to-user identity sources (“IDs”) they use to allow brands, agencies, and publishers who are integrated with identifiers from different providers to quickly recognize the supply paths in which they can activate addressable audiences.  To address this head-on, the Tech Lab’s Project Rearc Addressability working group has released ID sources.json. Id-sources.json allows for increased transparency around who is using what and also permits all sides of the transaction to more quickly understand how to activate ad campaigns dependent on ID connections. 

The Tech Lab also launched their Transparency Centre which is a one stop resource that makes it easy for digital advertising participants — buyers, sellers, and ad tech companies — to see which standards media partners have implemented, their level of compliance, certification program results, and more. This will help ensure a safe, privacy-centric ad experience for consumers. This resource will continue to evolve as more standards become adopted across the industry. 

Meanwhile the Global Privacy Working group continues to work on a shared standard for communicating privacy signals through the digital advertising ecosystem. This effort will effectively streamline technical privacy standards into a singular schema and set of tools which can adapt to regulatory and commercial market demands across channels. The first market to benefit from this output will be Canada and we look forward to the launch of a PIPEDA compliant framework in early 2022. 

As we say goodbye to 2021 we can be assured that there is definitely a brighter – and more transparent – future ahead for all of us. One that is built on solid and sustainable industry standards. IAB Canada will continue to sit at the table of the Tech Lab working groups and keep our members abreast of all developments. We encourage you to join the conversation by reaching out to committees@iabcanada.com