Distribution & Delivery News

IAB Tech Lab acquires Digitrust to increase global adoption of neutral identity service designed to improve consumer experience and protect privacy

Tech Lab Will also Work to Integrate DigiTrust Capabilities with Existing & Emerging Technology Standards for Digital Advertising.

The IAB Technology Laboratory today announced that it has acquired the assets and integrated the team of DigiTrust, a non-profit, industry consortium recognized for building a real-time standardized identity service designed to improve the digital experience for consumers, publishers, advertisers, and third-party platforms.

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Similar to the identifiers provided by mobile operating systems within the app ecosystem, the DigiTrust solution offers a neutral identifier for its members to use in lieu of hundreds of proprietary tracking mechanisms placed on web pages daily—all in support of consumer experience and privacy preferences.

In addition to continuing to support the DigiTrust ID service, IAB Tech Lab expects to integrate DigiTrust technology and operations where applicable across its broad set of technical standards, software, and services for the digital advertising and marketing ecosystem. DigiTrust’s technology and services can also provide additional infrastructure for the GDPR Transparency and Consent Framework, an initiative led by IAB Europe, IAB Tech Lab, and mutual members.

The critical role of identity resolution and management services spurred IAB Tech Lab to begin developing standards to increase transparency, consumer protection, and appropriate consistency across these services. The combination of DigiTrust with Tech Lab provides a potential reference implementation of these standards, alongside a neutral domain that improves audience recognition for member companies and other parties—and can ultimately deliver value and control to consumers.

“Both IAB Tech Lab and DigiTrust exist to create standards and software that benefit members worldwide,” said Dennis Buchheim, Senior Vice President and General Manager, IAB Tech Lab. “Audience recognition is central to ad relevance and effectiveness, privacy and consent, measurement, attribution, anti-fraud efforts, brand safety, and more. DigiTrust’s service provides a neutral ID that is useful on its own and also serves as a baseline for related commercial offerings. Our vision is to bring together Tech Lab’s expertise and technical standards portfolio with DigiTrust’s footprint, storage mechanism, and real-time services, to help move the industry forward in audience recognition, privacy controls, and more.”

Jordan Mitchell, Founder and CEO of DigiTrust, will continue to lead DigiTrust adoption and help ensure its successful growth and integration under the IAB Tech Lab umbrella. As Senior Vice President, Membership and Operations, IAB Tech Lab, Jordan will additionally be responsible for the combined organization’s business development, member services, compliance programs, and other operations. Sam Tingleff, Co-founder and CTO of DigiTrust and Vice President of Engineering at Rubicon Project, has accepted the full-time role of Vice President of Engineering (CTO) at the IAB Tech Lab. DigiTrust’s product management consultant Anissa Connor will also continue her work supporting global member deployments and GDPR solutions out of London, England.

“DigiTrust was born out of an IAB working group that I co-chaired and I’m thrilled to combine our efforts in support of this important initiative,” said Mitchell. “Together we have a broader, more capable team, along with a more complete technology stack and governance model, to drive value and benefit across one combined global membership model instead of two.”

The IAB Tech Lab will honor the personal data collection and neutrality values of DigiTrust. Under a consumer data policy, neither the IAB Tech Lab nor its DigiTrust ID service may collect, store, share, use, buy or sell consumer behavioral data or personal information. As a result, personal data collection continues to be between consumers and the parties they trust. Additionally, IAB Tech Lab will continue to be industry-neutral and not buy or sell media, content or advertising, nor host third-party requests, in connection with the DigiTrust service, except as necessary to meet regulations and honor privacy preferences.

Oversight and development of the DigiTrust service will be driven within Tech Lab by a DigiTrust Working Group, which will include a Commit Group authorizing all proposed new features and policies that help define the future of DigiTrust’s offerings.

“We recognize that audience recognition and privacy standards necessarily entail great responsibility by our members on behalf of the consumers they reach globally,” added Buchheim. “This work must be governed appropriately and implemented responsibly, without bias. We’re looking forward to working with and supporting all DigiTrust members.”

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