IAB Tech Lab Opens Public Comment for Data Clean Room Standards

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NEW YORK—IAB Tech Lab has announced the launch of its Data Clean Room (DCR) Standards portfolio with the release of DCR Guidance & Recommended Practices, as well as the Open Private Join & Activation (OPJA) specification to support and define interoperable clean room interactions for digital advertising. 

Both standards—announced during IAB Tech Lab’s Building For Privacy Series along with a primer for clean rooms containing definitions, concepts, and a roadmap of future clean room proposals and initiatives—will be open for a 60-day public comment period until Monday, April 17, 2023. 

The new standards are an important step forward by the digital media industry to protect privacy while providing companies with the data they need for effective marketing. 

The growing interest and use of clean rooms has occurred in a digital media landscape where there are growing concerns about privacy and advertisers are losing the ability to track consumers via cookies. Clean rooms link anonymized marketing and advertising data from multiple parties in ways that don’t allow data points to be tied to specific users. That provides marketers access to large data sets while preserving privacy. 

“With the loss of traditional identifiers, data clean rooms have emerged as a promising option for companies in search of alternate ways to enable advertising use cases for planning, audience activation and measurement,” said Shailley Singh, executive vice president, product & chief operating officer, IAB Tech Lab. "There is already a multitude of clean room vendors available, each with their own unique data-sharing mechanisms that their clients must work with. IAB Tech Lab is collaborating with the industry to create technical standards guidance and more efficient interoperability, which will make it easier for advertisers to leverage emerging and exciting DCR technology.”

Without standards, the organizations using DCRs must adapt to each technology they engage with. The OPJA specification was developed within IAB Tech Lab’s Rearc Addressability Working Group (opens in new tab)and is the first of a library of purpose-built, DCR specifications to streamline audience activation by enabling interoperability between vendors. The DCR Guidance & Recommended Practices document describes baseline expectations from a DCR for ensuring the privacy and security of data for data owners using a DCR for different purposes, the IAB said. 

“As this segment of the ecosystem matures, vendors can adopt IAB Tech Lab’s growing library of clean room standards to enable interoperable data collaboration use cases,” said Bosko Milekic chief product officer and co-founder, Optable. “The goal is to enable secure, purpose-limited and privacy-protected data collaboration no matter who uses which technology provider and to do so while minimizing data movement.”

The new specifications provide guidance on DCR applications to advertising use cases, recommended technology, and operational best practices for the privacy and security of data shared in a DCR. OPJA enables enhanced audience activation while eliminating the need to transfer Personally Identifiable Information (PII). Additionally, the specifications allow multiple technology vendors to jointly execute standardized data collaboration operations for their clients by providing clean room operators with a scalable and consistent way to enable and activate their customers.

“As data clean rooms become more widely adopted for privacy-safe collaboration between organizations, there’s been a call from the industry to develop standards to maximize ease of use, speed of activation, and support of more complex applications,” said Devon DeBlasio, global vice president, product marketing, InfoSum. “These standards will provide organizations currently using DCRs and those looking to invest with a clear understanding of how they work and what they provide, including common use cases, applied privacy technology, expected security and permissions controls, how data is prepared for ingestion, and the available outputs.”

To review Data Clean Room Guidance & Recommended Practices and the Open Private Join & Activation (OPJA) Specification and provide feedback, visit https://iabtechlab.com/datacleanrooms (opens in new tab).

George Winslow

George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.