Adotas - Brian LaRue
Device recognition service AdTruth (a division of fraud prevention/detection company 41st Parameter) held meetings earlier this month on two continents with representatives of 18 digital advertising companies, and they’ve emerged with AdTruth suggesting its technology might become much more widely adopted as a solution for addressing issues around tracking, targeting and online privacy. Indeed, a statement from the company said explicitly that the talks addressed how to create a “new, device-neutral approach” and the “deployment of a mobile universal identifier.” It’s good timing for AdTruth to make its case for its technology being the basis of such a “universal identifier” in light of Apple’s clear ambivalence about UDIDs and much subsequent chatter throughout the industry about what happens next.
Representatives from agencies, app developers, exchanges, networks, DSPs, data companies, ad servers and publishers (the release mentioned InMobi, King.com, MdotM, Mojiva, On Device Research, Razorfish, Smart AdServer, Somo Global and StrikeAd by name) met in San Francisco and Munich to talk about these issues and possible solutions. During a phone call earlier today, AdTruth general manager and vice president James Lamberti explained the talks had “three core themes.” The first, he said, was “just really educating — us talking a lot to them, mainly to educate.” He said the fresh angle AdTruth brought to the table was that with prior solutions of this sort, “previously everything had been client-side on the device. We’re not.” Privacy issues constituted the second theme. The third part was, he said, “much more them talking to us. The core company, 41st Parameter, was built on fraud prevention. It’s been proven out for eight years.” The AdTruth team was able to start processing and reacting to that input because of that prior experience, he said.
Ultimately, Lamberti said, “It was amazing to hear the clarity around what they wanted us to do.” There’s not much he was in a position to disclose about who is going to be adopting AdTruth’s technology or otherwise taking cues from their methods, but he predicted that in coming months, “I think you’ll see a stream of individual case studies with real data. This is real.”
There have been, as we just mentioned, a number of suggested solutions — some short-term, some slightly longer-term — kicked around in the past couple months to the question of how to deploy a method of device identification that errs on the right side of user privacy. Lamberti insisted, though, that AdTruth has some answers other companies in the same space don’t have. “First off, I think people are getting the sense we’re just more active,” he said. What AdTruth offers, he said, is “an elegant solution” that “can immediately scale” and is “really easy to deploy.” And he said AdTruth is “not trying to compete with UDID or open UDID — they’re all going to go away, right? I think everyone agrees they’re all short-term solutions.” Whatever solutions a company chooses, he explained, they can still “have us running in parallel, to protect their business mid- and long-term.”