Third-party cookies are going away, mobile ad IDs will soon be harder to come by – and the advertising ecosystem is responding with a flurry of deterministic identifiers of its own.
LiveRamp has an ID, Nielsen’s got one, the industry is starting to coalesce around Unified ID 2.0 and, on Wednesday, Neustar launched Fabrick ID.
Fabrick is also the name of Neustar’s identity-based customer cloud solution, which rolled out over the summer and powers data normalization and identity resolution for all of Neustar’s data management, media activation and marketing analytics products and services.
The Fabrick ID is a pseudonymized token that brands will be able to use to create cross-media linkages between advertiser demand and publisher inventory.
All of Neustar’s clients use Fabrick, and Neustar is now implementing the Fabrick ID with partners, including Index Exchange, PubMatic, Flashtalking, LiveRamp and The Trade Desk. Roughly one-third of the top Comscore publishers are already using Fabrick ID on their inventory.
“So much of media spend has been in identified environments for such a long time – just look at the walled gardens,” said Steve Silvers, SVP of product and GM for customer experience at Neustar. “What we’re doing here is democratizing identity so we can bring it to more publishers.”
It works like this: Neustar has an API that publishers can call with the information they have on customers, most likely a hashed email or phone number. Neustar then spits out a token (the Fabrick ID), which publishers can use to share identity data back with Neustar’s advertiser clients and to sell their media programmatically on the open exchange.
Any connections made with the Fabrick ID are partner and context specific, meaning that the token only works for that partner and for the purpose of securely transferring data. The IDs expire after around seven days, which is part of what makes them more privacy friendly than cookies, Silvers said.
“The great thing about third-party cookies is that once you had them, you could use them everywhere – and that is why we’ve all used them for everything,” Silvers said. “But that’s also what made them into a kind of privacy nightmare.”
The ad industry has been scurrying to come up with alternatives that will dispel that nightmare in the countdown to 2022, which is when Google has said it’ll sunset third-party cookies in Chrome.
The industry initiative picking up the most steam right now is Unified ID 2.0, which is being spearheaded by The Trade Desk. Neustar is contributing to the design of UID 2.0 and integrating it into its offerings, including its multitouch attribution and marketing mix modeling products. There will also be interoperability with Fabrick ID.
That means that Neustar will be able to offer partners and both advertiser and publisher clients the ability to generate unified IDs within the UID 2.0 framework and to pass them into the bid stream or buying platforms, said Bill Michels, GM of product at The Trade Desk.
Interoperability is key to the success of any identifier, because it’s unlikely that the industry will end up with a single universal ID, and that’s a good thing, said Travis Clinger, SVP and head of addressability and ecosystem at LiveRamp.
In LiveRamp and Neustar’s case, Fabrick customers will use LiveRamp’s Authenticated Traffic Solution to connect their data to LiveRamp identity data.
“Focusing on an identity infrastructure that is neutral and supports multiple identifiers, preferably those that are people-based, platform-encoded and encrypted, enables marketers to have the most flexibility and control relative to their data,” Clinger said. “[And] in a multi-identifier ecosystem, the IDs must be interoperable and allow for the seamless and secure movement of data across the digital advertising supply chain.”