April 22, 2021

Programmatic

In a world where nearly everyone is always online, there is no offline.

A better, more sustainable future for data driven marketing

StopPress chats to The Trade Desk GM James Bayes about UID2.0, Independent Governance, interoperability, and where we’re at in the roadmap.

What is UID2.0?

Originally spearheaded by The Trade Desk, Unified ID2.0 is a collective industry effort to establish a better, more sustainable future for data driven marketing across the open internet.

While there are significant challenges presented by the deprecation of third party cookies and the erosion of other identifiers used in digital marketing, we have an amazing opportunity to rethink the foundations of our industry to create a better future for publishers, brands and consumers alike.

In simple terms, UID 2.0 is a solution designed to replace third party cookies as the foundation for targeting and measurement online while upgrading privacy and control for consumers and preserving the value of relevant advertising for brands and publishers.

There are four elements to Unified ID 2.0:

  • Open ID a hashed, encrypted ID that can be used as the foundation for targeting and measurement across the open internet. It is linked to a permanent identifier such as an email address and is designed to replace third party cookies while upgrading privacy controls for consumers.
  • Single Sign-On a free, ubiquitous, independent single sign-on that operates across the open internet will make UID2.0 accessible for publishers of all sizes. This will be key to driving scale and adoption.
  • Standardised Consent Framework for Publishers – Clear, consistent and unambiguous language that explains the value of targeted advertising will be critical to building consumer trust in any identity solution. UID2.0 will provide a gold standard for consent that explains to consumers the value exchange of the open internet in language they will understand.
  • Centralised Controls for Consumers a centralised consent portal will allow consumers to manage their preferences in a single location, including the ability to easily opt out of UID2.0.

Why is Independent Governance critical?

Independent Governance is critical to removing any perception of bias or vested interest and has been key to securing the commitment of other buy side partners including the likes of Criteo who are a key partner in the initiative.

Beyond independent governance, Unified ID2.0 will also be open source, free, and interoperable with other identity solutions, bringing a new level of transparency and trust.

While The Trade Desk has committed significant resource and investment to the initiative, last week we announced that Prebid.org would take over as operator of UID2.0.

Prebid’s charter is to operate infrastructure on behalf of the industry where trust and transparency is required and a for profit entity isn’t an appropriate choice. With over 100 members and deep partnerships with much of the supply side of our industry, Prebid’s involvement is critical to scaling the initiative and ensuring nobody is over – represented in its design and governance.

Why does interoperability matter?

For any identity solution to thrive, one of the most critical success factors is scale.

To maximise adoption by brands and publishers, interoperability with existing ID solutions to provide a unifying foundation for identity across the open web is key.

We’re pleased a number of commercial data and identity partners have already agreed to be interoperable with UID2.0 including Liveramp, Neustar and Tapad… simplifying the activation of data driven marketing across the open web through a scaled, independent foundation for identity.

How important is consumer centricity in the solution?

Consumers are singularly the most important stakeholder in this discussion. In re-engineering the future of data driven marketing it’s critical we take the opportunity to increase transparency and control for consumers when it comes to their personal data and the way they engage with brands and publishers online.

Consumer experience is at the heart of UID2.0.

When opting into targeted advertising with UID2.0, standardised language will explain to consumers the value exchange of relevant ads in return for free access to content.

Once registered, consumers won’t have to visit each publisher individually to manage their preferences for UID2.0. A centralised consent portal will provide a single destination to manage their preferences and opt ins for UID2.0.

Where are we at in the roadmap?

We are moving incredibly quickly. UnifiedID2.0 goes into Open Beta in the United States in March and we expect ANZ to follow shortly thereafter.

With much of the ad tech industry aligning behind support for UID2.0, our focus now moves to driving scale on both the buy and sell side.

As an industry we have a lot to get done in a short period of time but it’s incredible what can be achieved with a deadline looming.

To create a better industry for consumers, publishers and brands we all need to lean in and make it a priority as there’s simply too much at stake.

We are as an organisation and participant in the industry, extremely focused on driving awareness and fostering momentum for the idea of a more transparent, secure and efficient ID system that enhances the quid pro quo of the internet for consumers and advertisers.

No one wants to wait for Google to decide, and Google is struggling with how to thread the needle with relevant advertising that maintains privacy and upgrades an antiquated technology.

And when we say “Google,” we forget that there are massive teams and people all working on this and debating it. They are not making their choice lightly.

Either way, the future of the internet shouldn’t be left in the hands of just a few people, which is why we are working with some of the best minds to bring this to life, make it open source and interoperable with independent governance.

In association with The Trade Desk.

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