The Future of Identity: Why We’ve Joined DigiTrust

March 29, 2018 — by John Slocum    

Digital identity today is deeply fragmented. Browsers, device manufacturers, telecommunication and media companies, marketers and the industry infrastructure that connects them have created dozens of partial solutions without clear standards.  The result is a patchwork experience, mixing surprising oversights (my TV provider doesn’t know enough not to offer a subscription I already have?) with intrusive ads that no one likes.

Not people-based! “Identity-based.”

Consider identity a pyramid. The consumer at the top, devices at the bottom. As an industry, we have the ability to identify devices as never before, while the number and types of devices are proliferating at record pace (thanks Moore’s Law). To make sense of this growth curve, we need to simplify our approach, and focus first on the foundation. Stable, persistent device IDs must anchor this identity pyramid to compose an accurate, anonymous digital representation of consumers.

Without stability, achieving fidelity on identity is a Sisyphean task—each consumer visit to a different publisher site, cookie clearing, device or browser switch means we have to sync, re-identify or jump to new screens, just to support the consistent experience that consumers deserve.

Only with a consistent, stable foundation for identity can we offer consumers the experience and choice they deserve. Sure, we can achieve clarity on cross-device and household identities, but this also enables support for consumer control that is respected, persistent and far-reaching. We’re already building mechanisms that give consumers control of their data and experiences, now more crucial than ever with GDPR coming in less than two months. With a scaled, persistent and shared device ID, the Internet experience is just better, faster and safer.

What we’re going to do

We believe in a neutral, shared device namespace that enables global scale and proprietary value add. That’s why today we are announcing that we have joined the DigiTrust ID consortium, an independent, neutral entity governed by industry leaders focused on solving tomorrow’s problems. This consortium is not from commercial parties, but it’s for them. More importantly, it’s for the consumer.

You read that right—a neutral and standardized device ID will improve a consumer’s Internet experience by supporting privacy, reducing page load time, increasing the relevance of marketing messages and enabling the diverse ecosystem of publishers and online platforms that they rely on. It does this by heralding fewer syncs, fewer unnecessary touchpoints and less referrer pass-arounds.

For publishers, DigiTrust presents a no-strings-attached, stable, scaled device namespace upon which they will transact with nearly all open digital demand, without loss. This means better monetization of opportunities. This means a broad consumer-facing solution enabling greater consumer engagement. This means reduced third-party tags on your content for improved page experiences and stability. This means our friends and partners can build the identity solution of their choice atop the DigiTrust ID.

We believe this is the way forward for identity for the industry, one that will put consumers back at the heart of marketing so they can opt in to experiences that they truly love.