IAB Tech Lab unveils guide to Identity Solutions in a Cookieless Future

The IAB Tech Lab, a digital advertising industry organization, this month released a comprehensive guide titled Identity Solutions Guidance: A Guide for Advertisers, Publishers, and AdTech.

Identity Solutions Guidance - IAB Tech Lab
Identity Solutions Guidance - IAB Tech Lab

The IAB Tech Lab, a digital advertising industry organization, this month released a comprehensive guide titled Identity Solutions Guidance: A Guide for Advertisers, Publishers, and AdTech. This guide aims to address the evolving landscape of identity solutions in the wake of diminishing reliance on third-party cookies for advertising purposes.

Understanding Identity Solutions

Identity solutions are technologies designed to recognize and link consumers across various digital touchpoints. These solutions leverage a combination of data signals to create a comprehensive picture of a digital consumer. According to the IAB Tech Lab, these signals can be categorized as:

Deterministic Data: This data allows for identification of a user with a high degree of certainty. Examples include hashed emails or login credentials.

Probabilistic Data: This data infers a user's identity based on statistical models and correlations. Examples include browser and device data.

The IAB Tech Lab's guide aims to simplify the complexities of navigating identity solutions in a cookieless environment. It explores various types of identifiers, including hashed emails, device IDs, and probabilistic identifiers.

The Importance of Identity Solutions in Programmatic Advertising

Identity solutions play a crucial role in programmatic advertising, a method of buying and selling ad inventory through automated real-time auctions. According to the guide, identity solutions enable:

  • Data Connectivity: This facilitates targeting specific audience segments and measuring campaign effectiveness.
  • Targeting and Measurement: Identity solutions are essential for delivering targeted advertising and measuring campaign performance.
  • Frequency Management: This ensures users are not bombarded with the same ad repeatedly.
  • Audience Suppression: This allows advertisers to exclude specific demographics from ad campaigns.

The IAB Tech Lab's guide elaborates on the various use cases for identity solutions within the programmatic advertising value chain.

Audience Activation via an SSP using Deal IDs
Audience Activation via an SSP using Deal IDs

Using Identity Solutions: A Relay Race Analogy

The guide employs a relay race analogy to illustrate the deployment of cookieless identity solutions. Here's a breakdown:

  1. Publisher Captures User Consent: This signifies a user's permission for data collection and sharing for advertising purposes.
  2. Signal Collection: In addition to consent, publishers gather data signals such as hashed emails and IP addresses.
  3. Handoff to ID Provider: The collected data is securely transferred to an identity provider for user identification.
  4. User ID Generation: The ID provider generates a unique user ID for the specific user based on the received data signals.
  5. SSP and DSP Integration: The user ID is then passed to Supply-Side Platforms (SSPs) and Demand-Side Platforms (DSPs) for ad campaign execution.

The IAB Tech Lab's guide outlines the entire flow of user consent, data signals, and sequence events, from a website visit to registering a conversion on an advertiser's platform.

Evaluating Identity Solutions: Separating the Wheat from the Chaff

The guide offers a framework for evaluating identity solutions, enabling stakeholders to make informed decisions. Here are key aspects to consider:

  • Use Cases: Identify the problems a specific solution addresses and how it supports advertising goals.
  • Methodology: Understand the data signals used and the methods employed for user identification.
  • Scale: Evaluate the solution's publisher adoption rate, match rates (effectiveness in identifying users), and buy-side platform (DSP) compatibility.
  • Quality: Assess the accuracy of user identification achieved by the solution.
  • Interoperability: Ensure compatibility with existing technology platforms within your advertising workflow.
  • Cost: Consider the pricing structure of the identity solution.
  • Privacy Approach: Scrutinize the solution's adherence to data privacy regulations and its approach to consumer privacy protection.
  • Data Leakage: Evaluate the solution's security measures to prevent data leaks.

The IAB Tech Lab's guide emphasizes the growing importance of identity solutions in a digital advertising landscape prioritizing user privacy. By equipping stakeholders with the necessary knowledge, the guide empowers them to navigate the evolving environment and leverage identity solutions to generate sustainable advertising revenue streams.

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