IAB Tech Lab this month announced that the DigiTrust initiative will be sunset by July 31, 2020. According to IAB Tech Lab, the sunset happens due to increasing operational costs driven by broad publisher deployment, a simultaneous lack of proportional funding and impending changes to cookies (and device identifiers in general).
DigiTrust was one of the IDs supported by the PubMatic Identity Hub. Other ids included The Trade Desk Unified ID, ID5, and LiveIntent.
DigiTrust was acquired by IAB Tech Lab in April 2018. IAB Tech Lab says DigiTrust service was the industry’s first and only neutral, independent, non-profit, shared ID service focused on improving the efficacy of ID syncing for all stakeholders, but there is a recognition that any service that relies on third-party cookies—including DigiTrust and other standardized cookie approaches—have a limited lifespan of utility.
“The announcement by Google Chrome in January 2020 that was the final nail in the coffin for third-party cookies”, wrote Benjamin Dick Senior Director, Product – Identity, Data, and Privacy IAB Tech Lab, and Jordan Mitchell Senior Vice President – Identity, Data, and Privacy IAB Tech Lab.
DigiTrust was supported by Adform, GumGum, Sovrn, PubMatic, MediaMath, Adobe, SpotX, BidSwittch, OpenX, Rubicon Project, Index, Exchange, Quantcast, among others. At the end, the project was killed due to increasing costs while operating revenue and utility to subscribers was decreasing.
DigiTrust sought to reduce the number of third-party requests that take place on webpages, and which slow down the consumer online experience. The DigiTrust service created a pseudonymous user token and stored 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 were obsolete.