Brussels, 8 March 2021 – Google today agreed to IAB Europe's request to engage in a dialogue on the announcement made by Google Ads last Wednesday ("Charting a course towards a more privacy-first web") and its potential implications for advertisers, agencies, ad tech intermediaries, and publishers. The dialogue will hopefully create an opportunity to elucidate questions raised by the announcement, in the spirit of collaboration that has characterised Google’s participation in IAB Europe for many years.
A key dimension for the European industry stakeholders whom IAB Europe and its network of National IABs represent is privacy, and the significant effort our network has invested in trying to define what a privacy-compliant ecosystem looks like. The Google Ads announcement made clear that once third-party cookies are phased out, Google will not build alternate identifiers to track individuals or use such identifiers in their products, something they have argued is necessary to ensure consumer privacy and adapt to evolving consumer expectations. The EU's highly prescriptive privacy and data protection laws do not prohibit the processing of identifiers for the delivery and measurement of digital advertising. Instead, they require that consumers have transparency and choice about their use, as well as a baseline of privacy by design and default, and that data controllers be held accountable for respecting the choices that consumers make.
IAB Europe and its members, which include Google, want an innovative, dynamic future for digital advertising in which advertisers, publishers and consumers have a wide range of paradigms and suppliers from which to choose. IAB Europe believes that future should include approaches that do not rely on identifiers alongside those that do, and a range of innovative solutions to the deprecation of third-party cookies - all of which can be implemented in ways that are equally legitimate from a privacy and consumer protection point of view and will hopefully address the use cases that ecosystem stakeholders most care about.
The proposed dialogue will kick off with a Town Hall next week to which National IABs, their corporate members, and all direct corporate members of IAB Europe are also invited (details to follow shortly).