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IAB Officially Unveils the SafeFrame 1.0 Specification

  |  March 19, 2013   |  Comments

IAB's release aims to improve methods for the measurement of digital ad impression viewability.

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) has officially released the SafeFrame 1.0 specification.

IAB's release aims to improve methods for the measurement of digital ad impression viewability. The SafeFrame 1.0 specification replaces traditional inline frames (iFrames) and comes as part of the Making Measurement Make Sense (3MS) initiative.

"Buyers are clamoring for viewable impressions, which are difficult for most to measure accurately when ads are served in frames. SafeFrame 1.0 is a vital next step in moving the industry ahead on that front," said VP of Ad Technology at IAB Steve Sullivan.

"We look forward to rapid and robust adoption of SafeFrame, so we can continue on the 3MS path toward viewable ad impressions for online advertising transactions."

The SafeFrame specification will separate external ads from web page information. IAB officials say the separation will be able to better protect web page data and increase rich media capabilities within ads.

Currently, ads displayed on web pages are offered through the use of iFrames that allow ads to display rich content like scroll bars. A key issue with iFrames is that the deployment of rich content is done through JavaScript, which can be used to siphon data inputted into web pages.

IAB's SafeFrame specification will allow for the ability to prevent iFrame ads from taking data stored on a web page. By separating ads and web pages, the IAB reports that SafeFrames will better protect user information.

Along with the consumer protection abilities, the SafeFrame specification will also give publishers more control over data shared with marketers. Using the specification publishers will be able to limit web page interferences from ads and decide which information to share with ad creators.

For marketers, the specification will allow data from ads to be collected and sent to agencies' servers increasing measurability and reporting. The SafeFrame specification will also allow for standardized advertiser layouts so ad code can be used on all publisher websites that adhere to the specification.

IAB is releasing an open source reference implementation of the SafeFrame 1.0 specification. The IAB says that the reference implementation will allow firms to quickly deploy the specification in a cost-effective manner.

The SafeFrame 1.0 specification was opened up for public comment last November. During that time the IAB received public comments on the specification and implemented some of those comments into the offering.

Those interested in learning more about IAB's offering can check out the firm's FAQ on the subject.

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James is a freelance writer and editor. In addition to ClickZ, his work has appeared in publications like V3, The Commonwealth Club, CachedTech.com, and Shonen Jump magazine. He studied Journalism at Weber State University.

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