IAB Europe’s GDPR guidelines, explained
In an attempt to get the entire digital advertising industry to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation, the Interactive Advertising Bureau Europe has released a new framework aimed at standardizing the process of gaining consent to collect and use consumer data.
In a nutshell, participating publishers would get to select which ad tech vendors they wish to continue working with for programmatic trading from a centralized list of global vendors that have applied — and paid a nominal fee — to appear on the list. Once publishers have chosen vendors from the list, they must then get consent from the consumer on those vendors’ behalf.
The framework’s purpose
Getting consumers to consent to their data being used under the GDPR will be a challenge for everyone, but it will be far harder for companies that don’t have a direct relationship with them — and therefore aren’t brands that consumers recognize — such as ad tech intermediaries and agency trading desks.
Publishers, on the other hand, are in a strong position to ask consumers for consent. The IAB Europe hopes with this framework that if publishers help gain consent on behalf of third-party vendors, programmatic revenues won’t be choked, as suppliers will be able to continue trading on their supply.
The theory is that a unified approach means users can give consent to multiple vendors at the same time, which would drastically simplify the process. It would also help some ad tech vendors keep their businesses afloat.
A love-hate situation
The industry has had a mixed response to the framework. While the benefits are clear for the some 5,000 ad tech vendors in the Lumascape, which will struggle to gain explicit consent, the benefits for publishers are less obvious. Some believe the framework requires publishers once again to assume the legal risk in order to maintain ad tech’s status quo, while potentially annoying or overwhelming their users with messages asking for consent for dozens of ad tech partners.
For now, vendors aren’t strictly vetted for the list, although they must be a member of a trade body or organization to be on it. In the future, should the industry request it, the IAB Europe can help set up a certification process to validate that each vendor is as GDPR-compliant as it claims, according to Matthias Matthiesen, IAB Europe’s senior manager of privacy and public policy. Matthiesen stressed that participating vendors will also need to demonstrate their own GDPR compliance and privacy policies; they can’t just sit back and allow publishers to take responsibility for that.
But publishers can choose the vendors for which they want to gain consent and if they wish, ignore the rest. “Just as non-authorized resellers fell away with the introduction of ads.txt, vendors who have to this point maintained a parasitic existence, syncing users through non-direct relationships and in the absence of any value exchange, are suddenly looking very exposed,” said a publisher executive. “We saw with ads.txt when suspect vendors tried to get themselves erroneously listed in publishers’ ads.txt files — you can expect to see those under threat to try and persuade the publisher to legitimize their existence via consent, which you can safely assume few publishers are going to allow to happen.”
The idea is that the framework provides the transparency required under the GDPR and creates an audit trail, so everyone can keep abreast of all parties’ compliance status. If the law is violated, there is essentially visibility of who is at fault, added Matthiesen.
The framework needs publisher buy-in
Ultimately, the framework needs publishers to get on board for it to work. So far, publisher response has been lukewarm.
“The current proposal is aimed at maintaining the status quo of an ecosystem which is not sustainable as it is today due to its unbalanced nature,” said Alessandro De Zanche, publisher consultant and former News UK executive. “GDPR is an opportunity for publishers to regain control of the relationship with their user, and through that, [be] given consent for the use of data. This would make publishers much stronger versus the rest of the ecosystem.”
The proposed framework is open for the industry’s feedback, and a final version will be released in mid-April. Until then, the IAB Europe plans to get feedback on it from publishers across Europe.
For some, however, full publisher cooperation on the framework is a long shot. “I don’t see publishers embracing it without significant changes,” said Jason Kint, CEO of publisher trade body Digital Content Next. “It’s designed to attempt to protect the broad interests of the many IAB ad tech companies who designed it.”
The GDPR will have long-lasting effects on how all companies collect and use data. Download Digiday’s primer on all you need to know.
‘We see a world where publisher data replaces third-party data’: News U.K. puts its data at the nucleus of post-cookie push for media budgets
News U.K. has overhauled the way it collects, sorts and monetizes its audience data across all its titles via first-party data platform Nucleus.
Here’s why the loss of the third-party cookie is heading toward a collapse in the middle
In the absence of third-party cookies, marketers will need to work more closely with trusted publishers to reach their audiences. Who will lose out? It is posed for a collapse in the middle.
Member ExclusiveMedia Briefing: What to expect from the Digiday Publishing Summit
This week's Media Briefing previews the upcoming Digiday Publishing Summit, which kicks off on Sept. 27 and will feature speakers from media companies including The Washington Post, BDG, Group Nine Media and Essence.
SponsoredHow retailers can be ready for holiday shoppers this year
Suchi Sastri, managing director and partner, Boston Consulting Group As the holiday season approaches and the pandemic continues to evolve, retailers want to know what to expect. Will e-commerce continue to grow at the rate it did last year? How big of a role will in-store shopping play in holiday shopping? While it’s still early, […]
How the pandemic has been a real a buzz kill for office happy hour bonding, culture
As COVID-19 crawls on, more companies are rethinking the wisdom of mixing booze and the stresses of the workplace.
‘Football has lost its soul’: How Copa90 is repositioning itself around the creator economy
Copa90’s overseers believe there’s another shift happening in tandem with the corporatization of the sport that has the potential to be just as transformative