The regulators: IAB Europe’s TCF falls short

On Thursday 2nd February 2022, the Belgian data protection authority (APD) published its final decision on a long running complaint against the IAB Europe’s TCF – the Transparency & Consent Framework.  The TCF sets the standard for collecting Internet users’ permission to process their data for behavioral advertising – including pop ups asking for permission to use cookies; and the APD found that the standard breaches GDPR on several counts in its present form.

There’s plenty of industry response to the news including a statement from Carbon’s VP of Strategic Partnerships David Snocken, Techcrunch’s detailed breakdown of the issues, an industry reaction piece in The Drum, and some initial thoughts from privacy expert Cobun Zweifel-Keegan.  Plus the IAB Europe responded claiming the decision paves the way to develop TCF into a single framework that can be used and interpreted cohesively across EU nations.

This judgement and the prompt response from iab evidences their commitment to being adaptable, with this being the next step of evolving a privacy first mechanism that balances the competing needs of all stakeholders.

David Snocken, VP of Strategic Partnerships at Carbon

The key points of clarity here are there’s time to adapt with the IAB Europe now having 2 months to address the purported infringements, and then to execute the plan over a six-month period once the APD has approved it.  Furthermore, TCF is still valid – it’s not been banned, as the complainants had originally sought.

🎧Politicking with IAB Policy Chief Lartease Tiffith

Away from TCF, there’s an interesting listen in this week’s podcast episode AdExchanger Talks where they speak to IAB Policy Chief Lartease Tiffith.  Among other things, they discuss privacy laws and new bills aimed at the data-driven ad ecosystem.  His top three priorities are: push congress to pass a federal privacy law to avoid a patchwork of privacy laws across the US; educate state & federal government on the value of a data driven ad ecosystem to the economy; and stop the passing of harmful digital services taxes.

You’ll find commonality between Triffith’s sentiments and Eric Seufert’s piece in MobileDevMemo: If personalised advertising is banned, who bears the cost?  In his article Seufert goes into detail on the US’ Banning Surveillance Advertising Act (BSAA) and Europe’s Digital Services Act (DSA), suggesting consent should be the key focus before decisions on ad targeting are made, whilst their needs to be an appreciation of the economic impact such a ban would have.

Industry continues to react to Topics API

AdNews sought experts’ opinions on Topics API this week with a number of positives such as addressing the fingerprinting risks, lack of transparency of what cohorts mean, and the use of sensitive categories associated with FLoC.

However, concerns still remain over the broad topic classification across just 350 categories, the potential for topics to become out of date, the lack of differentiation of impressions, and the unbalanced contributions to the ‘Topic Pool’ of general sites vs niche sites.  There’s also an honest take on Topics API from Ebiquity Group CPO Ruben Schreurs.  Framing the Topics API as the concept that it currently is, he admits that it still has many questions to answer such as who decides on topics, what if a site disagrees with the topics assigned, etc

Google record revenues

The next 12-18 months are going to be as eventful as ever, but revenue continues to comfort Google.  Parent company Alphabet recorded $209bn ad revenue in 2021 up 42.6% year-over-year with Google accounting for the majority though YouTube is its fastest growing segment rising nearly 50%.

Identity: an audio ID, AdForm’s ID Fusion, and more

SXM Media launched AudioID this week. The parent of Pandora, Stitcher and SiriusXM is offering an adaptable & interpetable ID – powered by its own SSP AdsWizz – that connects everything from contextual signals to other unified IDs and ID alternatives.  It will be interesting to see industry & regulatory response to this ID given how it matches signals into a single ID, despite the obfuscation of any PII.

Meanwhile, Adform released ID Fusion this week with some self declared encouraging early results.  ID Fusion purportedly bridges first and third party IDs across all browsers and devices in a privacy-centric way whilst adjusting to all first party ID solutions.

🎧Retail Media trends for 2022

In this week’s Emarketer Reimagining Retail podcast experts discuss the key retail media platforms Amazon, Walmart, and Instacart; whilst also ranking the key retail media trends including improved attribution & measurement, and the convergence of retail media and CTV.

🍏Apple launches first daily local news as ad revenues sore

Apple’s skyrocketing ad revenues as the company’s service business grew 24% year-over-year to $19.5bn for Q4 2021.  The news comes in a week when Apple News launched its first daily local newsletter with more planned, with all stories curated by Apple News editors to ensure quality content.

👎Facebook user growth slows

Despite surpassing 2bn users worldwide and prospect of hitting 2.1bn by end of 2022 Facebook’s user growth is slowing.  The platform still expects 3-11% year-over-year growth for Q1 but notes headwinds from increased competition for people’s time as well as shifts of engagement to more video formats.

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