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ARTICLE

An Open, Inclusive and Neutral Foundation for Identity vs. a Proprietary Commercial Consortium Foundation: Part 2

April 17, 2019 — by John Slocum

MediaMath’s John Slocum recently penned a column for AdExchanger’s Data-Driven Thinking on why proprietary universal identity efforts will hurt, not help, the marketing ecosystem. Below, he shares more in-depth insights on how MediaMath is providing the alternative via an open, inclusive, neutral approach to identity. Read the first part of the series here

A neutral, open-standard, commodity ID is best for everyone

MediaMath is working with DigiTrust to support transacting on the DigiTrust ID. The reasons we joined still hold true. The non-profit, IAB-managed, neutral, common ID is the right choice on which to build our Open Identity offering, where the differentiation is higher in the stack. The commoditization in the DigiTrust ID layer is part of what makes our identity offering open, extensible and portable. We want the base ID to be a commodity—one that everyone can recognize and share to obviate hundreds of third-party tracking tags and numerous performance and privacy-challenging vectors, all while respecting consumers.

Call to Action

  • Publishers who want a neutral, independent persistent and lossless identity should deploy DigiTrust JavaScript to start writing DigiTrust IDs today.
  • Platforms should support the DigiTrust ID and transact on it with MediaMath in the RTB extension.
  • Advertisers who find the promise of a lossless, open and persistent identifier across all vendor platforms compelling should encourage their vendors to join DigiTrust.

MediaMath is co-chairing the DigiTrust ID Working Group and currently measuring ROI in a formal lift study with IAB DigiTrust members. Interested parties should join the DigiTrust Working Group.

Who/what is DigiTrust: a service from IAB Tech Lab?

DigiTrust is a neutral, non-profit, industry-wide collaboration of ad-tech platforms and premium publishers utilizing a standardized user token to improve the consumer online experience. DigiTrust was acquired by IAB Tech Lab in April 2018, and now operates as a service from IAB Tech Lab. The DigiTrust service and technology solution creates a randomly-generated user token, which is propagated by and between its members in lieu of billions of proprietary pixels and trackers on webpages daily.

What problem(s) does DigiTrust seek to solve?

DigiTrust seeks to dramatically reduce the number of third-party requests that take place on webpages and which slow down the consumer online experience.

Why does this problem exist?

Thousands of companies work in collaboration today to deliver consumers personalized digital content and advertising over the Web, across many different devices. Each of these companies assigns its own proprietary, cookie-based user token, which its partners can’t read. That means that to work together in real-time, each company must maintain elaborate systems and processes to synchronize the different tokens used by each of its partners, for each consumer, on each web browser, in every connected device. The conventional process to update those systems and synchronize tokens with each other is called “pixel syncing” (or “cookie syncing”), and this process—because it’s so widely deployed across so many companies—can result in more than 100 third-party requests on a given webpage. This slows down the Web experience publishers offer their consumer audiences and is costly for third-party companies to maintain.

How does DigiTrust solve this problem?

The DigiTrust service creates a pseudonymous user token and stores it within a conventional cookie that may be read and propagated by DigiTrust members. With a standardized token provided to and used by all parties, pixel syncs are rendered obsolete. Hundreds of billions of unnecessary daily third-party pixel sync requests will eventually be removed from webpages—improving the Web experience for consumers—while publishers and their partners continue to be able to work together to deliver consumers rich, personalized content and advertising.