Cookieless World

Media Review #20: FLEDGE’s Momentum, Green Light for TrustPID, Clean Rooms Standardized, and Other News

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(Last Updated On: September 27, 2023)

In this Media Review, you can find out more about the testing progress of FLEDGE, the green light for the joint venture creation of a digital ad platform (by Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telefonica, and Vodafone), the Privacy Sandbox Beta coming to Android, and more.

Table of Contents:

Cookie-Alternative Fledge Testing Grows, But Not Among SSPs – AdWeek

= It is reported in the article that the scale of FLEDGE’s testing in the last 6 months has increased by almost 20 times, according to RTB House’s observations. However, it is pointed out that no SSP other than Google Ad Manager allows for testing FLEDGE directly due to the lack of signals, which severely impacts the ability to assess this solution. The article also cites Magnite’s SVP which finds FLEDGE to not just be a 3rd-party cookie alternative (such as external IDs) but a solution that fundamentally changes programmatic.

= In the spirit of FLEDGE getting traction, Google announced expanding support for TEE-based (Trusted Execution Environment) Bidding and Auction services from Android to the web version of the Privacy Sandbox. Bidding and Auction is a public cloud-based alternative to on-device auctions (which will continue to be supported) that aims to minimize the effort to test FLEDGE and deal with potential latency issues. The tests are to start in 2H 2023.

= Another press release by Google lists a range of other pending FLEDGE capabilities, such as the k-anonymity requirement and fenced frames, and specifies their testing status and expected future outlook. Some of the features that help improve privacy but are difficult to implement are going to be incorporated into the solution later to “maintain ecosystem inclusivity” and give sufficient time for the impacted parties to adapt.

Marketing Power Set to Shift as EU Telecom Giants Get Green Light for Joint Platform – AdWeek

= As the article announced, European antitrust regulators approved setting up the TrustPID – the digital ad platform joint venture by Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telefonica, and Vodafone. Each party is going to have an even 25% stake in the newly created entity. The approval applies to a competitive aspect of the JV creation (rather than evaluating the solution itself).

= TrustPID was created by Vodafone and was tested last year with Axel Springer and RTL’s inventory and German advertisers’ assistance. The solution depends on a unique, opt-in-based token which would be generated only after explicit consent from a mobile user and derived from a hashed/encrypted user’s network subscription ID. This TrustPID is aimed to connect users’ activities across various applications and websites and use it for the purpose of personalized advertising.

= The decision might have been driven by the EU’s recent findings that the digital advertising sector in Europe is “unsustainable” and not competitive enough, with the majority of the increase in digital ads revenues captured by the tech giants (Google and Meta). Therefore, introducing a new big player in the field is perceived as a positive phenomenon for the European market.

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IAB Tech Lab’s First Data Clean Room Standard Is Open For Public Comment – AdExchanger

= IAB Tech Lab released the first standard for Data Clean Rooms, which the industry so desperately needed, as AdExchanger describes. It is currently open for public comment until April 17th and consists of the guidance document (recommendations for how to use data clean rooms) and specification (defining required security and interoperability features).

= According to the current shape of the standardization, the objectives for data clean rooms are allowed to be accomplished in many different ways (for example, security can be achieved by using various privacy-preserving technologies). What’s more, applying this new standard won’t guarantee being aligned with any data privacy regulations worldwide.

= The first point of focus for IAB Tech Lab was an interoperability solution – the so-called “Open Private Join and Activation” (OPJA) – which could connect different data clean rooms. The OPJA regulates the granularity of data, which is expected to be supplied to a data clean room, and defines the shape of this data after being processed and extracted from a data clean room so that it is usable for targeting while preserving privacy.

The Privacy Sandbox Beta is coming to Android – Google Blog

= Google announced a gradual roll-out of Beta Privacy Sandbox for Android, which is to begin on a small percentage of eligible Android 13 devices. It aims to test and evaluate the mobile concept of the Privacy Sandbox, which is largely based on its web version.

= In another publication, an upcoming user-agent (UA) reduction was reported by Google. It depends on setting a fixed value for the Android version (as Android 10) and device model (as model K). The UA reduction is going to be gradually introduced as of Chrome 110 onwards.

= Leaving the Privacy Sandbox behind but staying on Android, Mozilla blew the whistle on how Google’s Play Store Privacy Nutrition Labels – assigned to applications by their developers – are often misleading users about how their data is being treated. The examples listed in the Techcrunch article include Twitter and TikTok, which have labels claiming that those apps don’t share users’ data with 3rd-parties, which is allegedly false. This issue exists in Apple’s App Store as well, and such labeling functionality – created for better transparency around developers’ privacy policies – does “more harm than good.”

Meta to test monthly subscription service priced at $11.99 – Reuters

= Reuters reports that Meta is testing a subscription service, Meta Verified, which will require users to verify their accounts using a government ID in order to get a blue badge and have  additional anti-impersonation protection granted. The subscription is to cost $11.99 monthly on the web, $14.99 in mobile environments, and bundled services for Facebook and Instagram platforms. Australia and New Zealand are said to be the first countries where the new service will be launched with other regions in the scope for later.

= Another Meta service, which is supposed to fill in the revenue gap after Apple’s ATT (App Tracking Transparency) introduction, as Financial Times writes, is Advantage+. It is an AI-driven campaign optimization tool that automatically generates multiple ads in accordance with the marketers’ objectives. Meta is said to have invested more in this solution since its creation (Aug 2022) than in Metaverse.  

= The article mentions both advantages, such as campaigns’ ROAS at the levels comparable to the era prior to ATT, and disadvantages, such as being a black box-like solution with little control over campaign setup given to marketers.

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