WTF is IAB Tech Lab’s Open Private Join and Activation?

This article is a WTF explainer, in which we break down media and marketing’s most confusing terms. More from the series →

Advertisers have been adopting data clean rooms, in part, as a means of equipping themselves for a future when they cannot rely on the third-party cookie for ad targeting. The problem is, clean room-based advertising at scale is a challenge at the moment.

“If I think about what’s required in the industry right now, there is not a scalable [real-time bidding] solution yet for utilizing [personally identifiable information] in a privacy-safe way,” said Therran Oliphant, svp and head of data and technology for North America at EssenceMediacom.

Enter IAB Tech Lab’s Open Private Join and Activation. The specification offers up a standardized process for matching an advertiser’s and a publisher’s first-party data sets — including in cases where they use different data clean room providers — and making the match results available for ad targeting while mitigating access to the underlying first-party data.

Sounds simple enough, right? Maybe. But the matching and activating process — or processes — is pretty complex, as the video below breaks down with help from Oliphant, Publicis Groupe’s Jess Simpson and Optable’s Bosko Milekic, one of OPJA’s authors.

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