IAB Report Calls Privacy Legislation Biggest Threat to Addressability

(Image credit: IAB)

Privacy legislation being considered at both the federal and state levels could be a bigger obstacle to executing addressable advertising than disappearing cookies, according to a new report from the Interactive Advertising Bureau.

“While Google’s decision to postpone the deprecation of third-party cookies until 2024 may feel like a reprieve, the industry is far from off the hook,” IAB CEO David Cohen said. “The industry is already operating with significantly less signal given the changes by Apple, Firefox and others. Consumers need transparency and control. We need addressability and measurement solutions that are privacy-by-design and fully compliant with state, Federal, and international standards.” 

The IAB released its report Tuesday at the IAB Audience Connect conference. Titled The State of Data 2022 Part II: Preparing for the New Addressability Landscape, the report indicates the industry is seeking a one-size-fits-all approach to privacy regulations that will apply from state to state.

The legislation has momentum because consumers are more aware of the privacy they’re giving up versus the benefits they're getting by being shown only advertising that’s relevant to them. 

While the industry is better about disclosing what data it will use, it is not doing enough to help consumers understand why gathering their data delivers real benefits, the IAB said.

Ironically, privacy legislation may benefit platforms and publishing giants while inadvertently punishing smaller publishers, the IAB warned. “While there are a range of third-party tools that can help power data collection and enrichment, only a handful of interviewees have the budgets to test these new approaches,“ the report said. The consensus is that there are too many tools and not enough resources to test or manage them all — particularly among smaller publishers.

“With third-party cookies, the sky has been falling for more than a decade,“ said Angelina Eng, VP at the IAB’s Programmatic+Data Center. “No wonder there’s a deepening disconnect between how prepared senior-level, data decision-makers feel, and how prepared they actually are. But no matter what happens with cookies, the rising tide of patchwork regulation is already here.” ■

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.