IAB Tech Lab proposes vision of a post-cookie ‘user token’ for web-based identity

With browsers and privateness regulators more and more sad with third-party cookies, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) Tech Lab made a pitch this week for a new industry-wide initiative to give you a completely different, privacy-compliant method for monitoring identity on the net.

In a weblog put up and in a presentation to the W3C, the Tech Lab referred to as on digital entrepreneurs to “rethink the cookie [and] embrace a new paradigm of clear privacy setting and consumer controls tied to a standardized identifier.”

The motive, IAB Tech Lab SVP Jordan Mitchell informed ClickZ, is that “today, identity is not owned by the consumer.”

A non-cookie method

Although the call-to-arms lacks some key specifics, it makes a pitch for a new, non-cookie method of consented identity with a number of key options:

  • A standardized person token. Controlled by customers, the token comprises the person’s privateness settings and preferences and is broadcast to all collaborating events. Mitchell stated that precisely how and the place this token operates is to be labored out with the browser makers and different events. But the primary concept is that, in contrast to cookies, it’s not up to date with out person consent, there is just one and never dozens or tons of, and it holds privateness preferences.
  • The token would solely be accessible to corporations who’re what Mitchell calls “good actors” and have demonstrated their compliance with privateness preferences and guidelines.
  • A “standardized, managed container for advert supply” would encompass advertisements introduced by websites to customers, as a assure that undesirable client-side code or unconsented person monitoring don’t happen.
  • And the requirements can be arrange as to-be-determined “public utilities,” topic to governmental rules and ruled collectively by the browser makers, together with the digital media and advertising industries.

Mitchell stated that, whereas the Tech Lab is “not suggesting a specific tech,” it’s envisioning that any system or tech can be easy, may very well be carried out pretty shortly and comprises privateness preferences.

Cross-device identity

As for whether or not the person token would function as a cross-device identity, Mitchell stated he didn’t assume the browser-makers help cross system identity.

However, whereas browsers’ buy-in to a token-based identity system is important, it’s tough to check how a international identity would work with out a cross-device unification, given the frequent shuffling between gadgets by customers.

It’s additionally tough to see how knowledge suppliers wouldn’t instantly map every device-based token to one another, in order that a single particular person profile could be constructed from matching the identical log-in throughout gadgets or different strategies. Additionally, Mitchell stated the token might share the system ID or a shared log-in, which might additionally help the cross-device match.

While the token is meant to switch the third-party cookie, he added, it’s not meant as a substitute for a log-in. Although, of course, it might nicely serve that operate.

There would additionally must some integration with the IAB Tech Lab’s Consent String, issued throughout a listing bid request. In truth, it’s attainable that a person token might finally change the Consent String, which is simply catching maintain as half of the IAB’s current Transparency and Consent Framework.

Comparable to AMP pages

Mitchell pointed to Google-developed AMP cell pages as a mannequin for the restrictions that may very well be utilized throughout the digital advert system, notably with the proposed Ad Container. Like AMP, it might place limits, he stated, resembling limiting the use of JavaScript, the scale of information, or the issuing of third-party requests, the place advert/knowledge corporations name different advert/knowledge corporations.

Mitchell identified that this new system would seemingly change third-party cookies, however it’s not meant to have an effect on first-party cookies. But, he agreed, such a new digital advert universe might assist first-party cookies, notably if it diminishes third-party cookies.

First-party cookies are these code snippets utilized by websites to trace the preferences and habits of their very own guests and prospects and, like all cookie, can solely be learn by the area that deposited it. Third-party cookies are ones deposited by exterior events, resembling advert exchanges, and could be learn by these distributors on many websites.

Earlier this 12 months, Mitchell famous, the Tech Lab’s DigiTrust Working Group had been contemplating two different paths for non-cookie identity: a shared log-in system, and a system identity system for computer systems, just like the IDFA ID for IOS-based cell apps.

He stated that the brand new person token idea might embrace the system ID idea, however that shared log-ins are a separate idea that may apply to teams of publishers. Additionally, he identified that this person token idea is at the moment solely envisioned for the net, not for cell apps or newer platforms, like good TVs or related vehicles.

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