Meta fined €390 million for GDPR breach – but also some good news for programmatic

A belated but heartfelt Happy New Year from Novatiq to all our Spotlight readers. 2023 has already got off to a busy start in the world of adtech and digital marketing, here’s some of the main news items that caught our attention this month.

What we have for you today: The market for telco-verified IDs matures, Meta suffers a huge GDPR fine, and transparency within the programmatic industry reaches new highs.

Telco-verified IDs: the market matures

One of the big news items this month is that Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telefónica, and Vodafone filed a proposal with the European Commission (EC) for “a privacy-led, digital identification solution to support the digital marketing and advertising activities of brands and publishers,” aka “TrustPid.”

Having had the market for telco-verified IDs to ourselves for the past four years, we are delighted to welcome a competitor, especially one that comes from the telco community itself and which will be interoperable with our own ID platform.

We’ve long argued that telco-verified IDs are the perfect privacy-first solution for personalised programmatic advertising at scale, and this consortium shows that telcos now recognise the opportunities available to them and are ready to act.

The EC will let the TrustPid consortium know if they can go ahead with the joint venture next month, and we wish them the best of luck with that, as well as for the development and rollout phases that will follow.

However, telcos wishing to get up and running in a shorter timeframe are invited to get in touch with Novatiq. Our proven interoperable, privacy-first ID platform, which works across both mobile and fixed networks, is already benefitting telcos in live deployments worldwide. With Novatiq you can be up and running within months, tapping into a new and valuable revenue stream as well as increasing your relevance to the wider digital ecosystem.

Programmatic: the good, the bad, and the pending

When it comes to the publishing community, 2023 has got off to a mixed start. On the good side is the news that according to an annual survey by ISBA and PwC, transparency over ad spend is improving in the programmatic ecosystem with the 15% of unaccounted spend recorded in 2020 down to just 3% in open marketplaces. The report also suggests that DSP-to-SSP match rates for advertisers improved from 12% in 2020 to 58% in 2022. If accurate, this improvement is indeed to be welcomed, but the figures are still far from perfect and suggest that alternative approaches are required (such as Novatiq’s own in-network solution that delivers 100% real-time consented audience matching).

January has also provided a reminder that much work still needs to be done in the industry, particularly when it comes to privacy. Special mention here goes to Meta, which was on the receiving end of a €390 million fine for being found in breach of GDPR by Ireland’s Data Protection Commission. The fine relates to  complaints over the legal basis it uses to justify its behavioural ads. The message is clear: every company involved in the programmatic supply chain needs to be 100% sure they’re getting compliance right.

One to watch in this respect is Google. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has called on the company to review its Topics API, concerned that the approach fails to fix ad tracking. Google is reportedly ignoring the recommendation and the UK’s ICO seems relaxed with Google’s approach, but this is definitely one to keep an eye on for future developments. 

Google is not the only company to be mulling alternatives to tracking IDs. Shopify has thrown its hat in the ring with a proposal that allows retailers to pool their customer data and upload it to Meta’s advertising platform. So long as customer consent is in place, this is a good idea and will prove another useful tool for advertisers. However, as with similar approaches it lacks the scale and reach that was achieved through tracking IDs. For that, brands will still need to use alternatives that are capable of verifying users on the open web in a privacy-first way (ala Novatiq). 

Getting to grips with ad fraud

Finally, this month saw details emerge around Vastflux, one of the biggest ad frauds ever discovered and thought to be responsible for 1,700 spoofed apps and 12 billion false ad requests per day. Ad fraud remains a huge challenge – as recent ad fraud statistics show – and one that can only be stopped with approaches that can verify users. Here, telco-verified IDs have a role to play by enabling telcos to check their network intelligence to verify that a brand or publisher ID corresponds to a known subscriber. In doing so, the telco enables brand and publishers to authenticate that a visitor to a website or an app is a real person and not a bot.

More from Novatiq

Thanks for reading the first newsletter of the year. If you’re looking for more stories, thoughts, and comments on all things related to digital marketing then please drop by our blog. This month, you can check out our 2022 year in review to learn about some of the major trends we saw last year and what they mean for digital marketers.

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