Blog

A new approach to ethical digital advertising: Privacy Lens

Ben Barokas, Co-Founder and CEO
March 1, 2021
View through a porthole of a landscape

Today, we are proud to announce our new product, Privacy Lens, the first privacy measurement and analytics platform for digital advertising. 

Much like ad viewability or brand safety tools provide insights about campaign effectiveness and suitability, Privacy Lens allows media buyers to integrate information about privacy experience into their buying decisions. Buyers can create their own standards, depending on brand values, regional laws, or risk profile. 

Privacy Lens scoring results UI
Privacy Lens scoring results

Privacy Lens provides buyers with complete flexibility to define their own standards regarding an acceptable privacy management experience. This flexibility is necessary as regulations change and come into force all the time.  In just 2021 so far, Virginia has passed the CDPA, and new bills are on the docket in Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, and Utah, with pressure for a US federal law mounting. 

Beyond compliance, there has been a positive groundswell towards data ethics within our industry, with 74% of CMOs saying that data ethics will become more important to their role over the next five years. We built Privacy Lens to be used to enable compliance with current regulations, but also to guide ethical data usage.

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There is a gap in the market

As brands undertake ambitious efforts to weave data privacy standards into all of their consumer touchpoints, advertising channels have remained a significant blind spot for media buyers. 

Without the ability to evaluate the privacy standards of media inventory sources at scale, brands are exposed to significant regulatory and reputational risk. Given the nuance and complexity of global regulations and local enforcement, privacy measurement is a challenge that requires a robust technology solution.

When brands and agencies first began speaking to us about this pain point over a year ago, we knew our technology could help. And we were also excited by the larger possibilities of bringing the buy-side and the sell-side together. 

We are working to transform privacy quality into a currency that will ultimately benefit all ecosystem participants.

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Aligning incentives

It’s become somewhat of a cliché perhaps, but transparency and control are fundamental components of ethical advertising, and it involves more than the consumer relationship. 

Consent is just the tip of the iceberg

Publishers have long been carrying a disproportionate share of the burden of compliance within the digital ecosystem. When publishers invest in high-quality privacy experiences, they should be able to show evidence of that quality to buyers and be compensated by the marketplace appropriately. 

In our work to help our publishers combine privacy management and monetization, we’ve witnessed firsthand the investment they’ve made in order to comply with regulation and industry frameworks, as well as to improve the quality of their consumer experience. 

With Privacy Lens, advertisers create customized privacy standards for their media plan. Our scanning technology evaluates digital properties against a growing set of rules in four dimensions of privacy experience: EU (GDPR and ePrivacy), US (CCPA), Brazil (LGPD), and data ethics/digital citizenship. Buyers gain visibility into which publishers have the strongest and most direct relationships with their audience. Outstanding publishers can differentiate their inventory from media sellers who have not been as intentional in their approach to careful and transparent management of consumer data. 

Media sellers who provide consumers with best-in-class privacy management — that means no dark patterns, no undisclosed data collection, no fraudulent consent strings — need to be seen, heard, and rewarded by the market.

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Transparency for all

With Privacy Lens, media sellers will be able to see which rules media buyers are using to evaluate their inventory, so they can optimize their privacy configurations to drive incremental revenue. The platform fully exposes and explains the rules used by buyers to evaluate inventory, and can give media sellers a view of how their privacy settings are impacting revenue.

As privacy technologists with deep expertise in digital advertising, we believe we are uniquely positioned to bring ecosystem participants together in a transparent and fair exchange of value. Since the beginning, transparency has been a key tenet unifying our products. I’m thrilled to bring Privacy Lens to market as a sustainable way to advance data ethics for everyone. 

If you’re interested in learning more about Privacy Lens, or you just want to chat about all of the different dimensions of consumer privacy experience, drop us a line

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