Moving Towards Cookie Independence Enters Phase Two

An Update on Project Rearc

As we edge closer towards cookie independence, the efforts of Project Rearc continue to gain momentum in its quest to harmonize privacy and personalization for digital experiences.The brightest global minds from business, tech and policy are working feverishly to rearchitect and develop technical standards, derived from industry best practices, that will achieve:

  • Predictable privacy
  •  Increased accountability and trust for our industry
  • Improved market innovation and competition

During our most recent session, Jordan Mitchell, technical lead at IAB Tech Lab, reminded us of the famous proverb “If you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to go far, go together”. Similarly, Project Rearc is supported by the collective agreement that collaboration among stakeholders is key and resisting the urge to go proprietary in developing a solution will allow our entire industry to be successful in building for the future.

This is not to say that this is a simple process and it has even been described as a complicated chess match involving multiple layers all focused on harmonizing privacy and personalization for digital experiences with an ambitious deadline of Q 4. The key layers are:

  1. Industry alignment on business, policy and tech involving over 20 trade orgs and 12 regional IABs.
  2. W3C and Browser standards – the big question being pondered here is will the browsers ever align or continue to fracture?
    1. can the W3C expand their existing reach beyond the web and its plumbing to represent the online advertising industry or does the Rearc group need to bring forth our own proposals to ensure our members are heard? Particularly the voices of the online publishers and marketers.
  3. Legal process – How do we find a solution that allows for regional nuances while ensuring compliance and fair competition?

To address all of these concerns, the Rearc Addressability and Accountability task forces continue to plow forward in Phase 2 of the project and are reviewing technical proposals, understanding the alternatives and working with the “Partnership for Responsible Addressable Media” (PRAM) and the European Publisher Council (EPC) to get stakeholders aligned in advance of selection and development.

Meanwhile, the Accountability team is working hard to develop codes of conduct and technical mechanisms which will feed into an auditing process to demonstrate compliance. This group is also focusing its efforts on the development of a global privacy framework that will be scalable across all regions, based on common technical standards. This is the same group that is currently working with IAB Canada to develop a Canadian string for the TCF that was originally built to solve for the GDPR.

Although complicated and multifaceted, this is an exciting process to be a part of and IAB Canada is encouraged to see so many of our local members on the Rearc Task force calls. If you would like to join these global sessions or our IAB Canada Rearc working group, please reach out to