Say What? IAB Europe’s TCF Fails GDPR

AdMonsters Wrapper: The weekly ad tech news wrap up
This Week
October 20, 2020
IAB Europe Fails GDPR Standard
Ecommerce on the Rise
Ad Tech IPO Rumors Abound
TCF Fails GDPR Standard
Image sourced from Twitter
This is big news y’all. The Belgian Data Protection Authority (APD-GBA) has conducted an investigation of the IAB and its Transparency Consent Framework and found serious GDPR infringements.

The findings: The investigation concluded that the IAB Framework allows companies to swap sensitive information about people even when this has not been authorized and provides inadequate controls for the processing of intimate personal data that occurs in the RTB system. The implications are huge for RTB here.

While the Framework has been adopted by many in the advertising ecosystem, TechCrunch reports that all of this adoption may be for naught considering the Belgian DPA’s findings.

IAB Europe’s response: IAB Europe has responded, describing the TCF as a “voluntary standard” containing “a minimal set of best practices”. IAB Europe also disagrees that “IAB Europe is a data controller in the context of publishers’ implementation of the TCF.”
Why This Matters
The Irish Council for Civil Liberties Senior Fellow, Johnny Ryan, says, “This is significant for the IAB's attempt to market a variant of the TCF as a solution for the CCPA and CPRA.”

As an article in AdAge points out, this ruling “could diminish confidence in the IAB’s ability to navigate the waters.”

This isn’t the first time the IAB’s ability to navigate user privacy has come into question, as many small players feel that Google and Facebook’s voices dominate IAB working groups—who are largely responsible for testing and making decisions about the various standards and frameworks coming out of the IAB.

Ryan says the findings are “peeling this veneer off the vast data breach at the heart of the behavioral advertising system,” which is good news for pubs who have “had their audiences stolen from them for a decade, been subject to tracking based bot fraud, and subject to vast ad tech taxes.”
Ecommerce on the Rise
During the pandemic, online shopping has significantly increased with consumers turning to brands that improve their at-home experience. Brands providing consumers with the best user experience in exchange for their data, seem to be winning out overall.

The numbers: According to eMarketer, US ecommerce sales will reach $794.50 billion this year, up 32.4% year-over-year. While these levels weren’t expected to be reached until 2022, online shopping has improved so much its targeted to offset the 3.2% decline in brick-and-mortar spending this year.

The pandemic has helped people get more comfortable with online shopping and sharing their data in return for a clear value, like recommendations from Amazon or Netflix. But irrelevant marketing remains a primary factor in why people distrust a brand, according to new data from Jebbit partner Salesforce.

In Jebbit’s Consumer Data Trust Index Q3 2020: 89% of consumers are more loyal to companies they trust, while 65% said they stopped buying from companies that did something they considered distrustful.
Why This Matters
Amazon will continue to garner the largest share of the retail pie, especially going into the holiday season. The online retailer has also snatched the number one spot in Jebbit’s study, revealing that overall trust in online shopping is up though overall scoring did reveal that there is a lot of room for improvement.

As more consumers plan on doing more online shopping beyond the pandemic, the question that arises is how will publishers and revenue teams take advantage of this opportunity?

In 2019, Digital Trends drove millions in sales to Amazon and other partners without ever shipping a single product themselves. The big A and other online retailers are becoming a large part of publishers’ affiliate strategies, which can also become an increasingly important percentage of publisher revenues.

Part of why Digital Trends has been so successful with their affiliate strategy is because their first-party data strategy has strengthened their relationship with their audience and improved trust.

The time looks ripe for pubs to get their ecommerce strategies on for the 2020 Holiday season.
Ad Tech IPO Rumors Abound

Could this be the early 2010s all over again? You know, back when VCs were throwing their money at ad tech companies in search of ‘the next Google.’

In Andrew Blustein and Ronan Shields Adweek analysis of DoubleVerify and AppLovin gearing up for IPOs, they spoke with many industry insiders to learn whether ad tech 2.0 would be a repeat of ad tech 1.0’s many failures.

Why This Matters
We think Terence Kawaja, CEO of investment bank Luma Partners summed it up really nicely in the article: “It’s possible for ad tech to tap public markets if they can demonstrate sustainable advantage. In particular, if they can position themselves as software companies, as opposed to being viewed merely as ad networks with hard-to-forecast revenue streams.”

Meanwhile, speculation of an ad tech bubble persists.
Sweet Tweet
GDPR clearly requires strong protections for consumer data in line with consumer expectations. The industry needs to give up trying to protect incumbent adtech/intermediary interests ??, especially those that dominate today’s ad marketplace at the expense of consumer trust.
Worth a Listen
The Ad Platform: How eMarketer Built Their Q3 Digital Ad Spending Forecast
Based on a bottom-up look at the market, eMarketer has updated its estimates of US digital ad spending this year. eMarketer forecasting analysts Eric Haggstrom and Peter Vahle, along with junior forecasting analyst at Insider Intelligence Nazmul Islam, join eMarketer principal analyst at Insider Intelligence Nicole Perrin to talk about the building blocks of the forecast, what they know about performance at major digital ad sellers, and how it all adds up to the whole.
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