Leading Operations Online

Digital Media Leadership Award honorees Bill Murray, The Weather Company, and Ali Mirian, Chiefgood, are flanked by AdMonsters Founder and CEO Bowen Dwelle (left) and VP, Content and Media Rob Beeler at Publisher Forum XXX in Boulder, Colorado. (Photo: Donna Alberico) 

Honoring Digital Media Leadership Award Winners in Boulder, Colorado



Wouldn’t it be amazing if our phones could see the world in the same way we do,” commented Matt Mills, former Head of Innovation and Global Sales at augmented reality platform Aurasma, during a 2012 TED Talk. Lucky for us, with today’s advancements in mobile technology, the what-ifs of connecting our physical and digital spaces have, in many ways, become reality. 


“We spend most of our time telling privacy advocates and even our clients what we don’t collect," comments James Lamberti, Vice President and General Manager of AdTruth. “If you read our contract, there’s a list of 20 things we don’t collect: IFA, cookies, UDID, MAC address, etc. We purposefully stay away from not just PII, but beyond that any sensitive data.”

Garnered through Javascript signals or piggybacked iFrames, probabilistic device identifiers capture a variety of common signals: browser version, device type, country, time zone, language settings, user agent, browser resolution, browser add-ons, etc. Basically, the stuff that makes the Internet work, Lamberti explains.

“If you started to take away the data that we use to do the probability-based ID, pages would not load, videos will not stream,” he says. “It’s not that we’re trying to be scary or creepy about it, but we’re using data that’s so innocuous that there’s nothing to shut off.”


UDID was a problem. First off, the 40-digit alphanumeric codes giving unique identifiers to Apple mobile devices based on hardware details had no consumer opt-out functionality – no blocking, removing, what have you. Second, the read-only identifier was static – even if a phone exchanged owners, the UDID was imprinted forever.

(Part II is now live)

With cookies rendered useless in the app environment and no other tracking tools available within the iOS platform, advertisers, publishers and developers took advantage of Apple’s offering of UDID for tracking – Apple was using the identifiers to track behaviors across its own apps. However, the UDID was quickly employed for ad targeting, something Apple supposedly never intended. The lid to the public was blown off this practice in a late 2010 Wall Street Journal article rather sensationally titled, “...

“TV is an immovable object, mobile is an unstoppable force,” suggested Rob Beeler, Content Czar.

A strong opening is essential to a great event, and the content team was having trouble wrapping the myriad topics within the OPS TV/OPS Mobile agenda (Thursday, July 18 at Chelsea Piers in NYC) into a focused introduction worthy of kicking of the day. However, Beeler seemed to be onto something with this analogy to the “irresistible force paradox.”

TV as “unmovable object” certainly fits into the theme of Simulmedia CEO Dave Morgan’s opening keynote. As the founder of TACODA and then Real Media, Dave Morgan has been skating the digital media envelope for about as long the concept of Internet...

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