AdTruth and other device fingerprinting companies see opportunity in Do-Not-Track.
AdTruth, a division of 41st Parameter, has become a member of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). As a member of the organization’s Tracking Protection Working Group, it will help provide guidance for implementing and adhering to Do Not Track policies.
The W3C's mission is to create Web standards and guidelines designed to ensure long-term growth of the Web.
41st Parameter's seven-year-old technology was developed for internet security, helping to prevent fraud by recognizing troublesome devices. Rebranded as AdTruth, the company now helps marketers track, target and retarget consumers.
The key to device recognition AdTruth-style is its patented technology called TDL, for time-differential linking. While in the billions of connected devices there may be thousands with the same configuration, no two will have their clocks set to the same time -- at least, not when you take it down to the millisecond.
Says Ori Eisen, founder of 41st Parameter and AdTruth, "We take these disparate time stamps and compare them to the server master clock. If there is any doubt, the TDL is the tie-breaker."
Because it IDs the device itself, AdTruth does not recognize a consumer who visits the same site from a different device.
AdTruth software resides in the memory of its clients' servers, reducing latency and the possibility that the company could inadvertently expose consumer information. Eisen says SteelHouse is a customer.
Competitor BlueCava has also extended its aspirations from security to marketing, releasing a new version of its device ID service. Both companies hope to take advantage of an update to the European Union's ePrivacy Directive that could make the common practice of dropping cookies on consumers' devices less attractive.
Momentum for do-not-track legislation is growing in the United States. The Federal Trade Commission proposed a do-not-track function in browsers in late 2010, and since then bills introduced in both houses of the U.S. Congress have included such a function.
When consumers opt out of tracking via the browser, AdTruth's technology honors the Do Not Track HTTP header and does not identify the device.
Companies that ID a consumer's device without leaving any code on it may be obeying the letter but not the directive. In fact, Eisen expects privacy codes to continue to tighten.
"We have worked with lawyers in Germany, where we did some early testing. They evaluated what we are doing and what is the letter of the law" he says. "Currently, we're clear. But I don't expect it to stay like this forever."
He thinks marketers need to stay moving as privacy requirements shift, rather than holding onto their cookies for as long as they can.
Privacy issues aside, Eisen says that his company's device identification technology, sometimes called digital fingerprinting, gives publishers and marketers a more accurate view of their audiences when used to augment cookies. When a consumer deletes local cookies or when the browser is set to automatically delete them at close of a session, device ID will help the website recognize a returning user.
He says, "You have to use something like us to salvage every impression you can in a world where cookies are disappearing."
Join the Industry's Leading eCommerce & Direct Marketing Experts in Chicago
ClickZ Live Chicago (Nov 3-6) will deliver over 50 sessions across 4 days and 10 individual tracks, including Data-Driven Marketing, Social, Mobile, Display, Search and Email. Check out the full agenda and register by Friday, August 29 to take advantage of Super Saver Rates!
Susan Kuchinskas has covered interactive advertising since its invention. The former staff writer for Adweek, Business 2.0, and M-Business covers technology, business and culture from Berkeley, CA.
IBM Social Analytics: The Science Behind Social Media Marketing
80% of internet users say they prefer to connect with brands via Facebook. 65% of social media users say they use it to learn more about brands, products and services. Learn about how to find more about customers' attitudes, preferences and buying habits from what they say on social media channels.
The Multiplier Effect of Integrating Search & Social Advertising
Latest research reveals 68% higher revenue per conversion for marketers who integrate their search & social advertising. In addition to the research results, this whitepaper also outlines 5 strategies and 15 tactics you can use to better integrate your search and social campaigns.
September 17, 2014
September 23, 2014
September 30, 2014
1:00pm ET/10:00am PT