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Final Audience Taxonomy 1.1 and Content Taxonomy 2.1 Provide Additional Consumer Privacy Safeguards

IAB Tech Lab’s Taxonomy and Mapping Working Group has finalized two updates to its taxonomy portfolio: Content Taxonomy 2.1 and Audience Taxonomy 1.1. 

The two updates – which went through 30 days of public comment through April 2020 – introduce additional consumer privacy safeguards that aim to minimize the risk that content categorization signals within Open RTB (Real Time Bidding) requests could be used to generate sensitive data points about things like race, politics, religion or other personal characteristics that could result in discrimination. The revisions are also accompanied by corresponding guidance updates within AdCOM (Advertising Common Object Model) / OpenRTB 3.0 guidance. 

Taken as a whole, these changes represent another step in our industry’s journey to architect itself around privacy-by-design principles and mature in meaningful ways towards a more transparent and accountable supply-chain. The specifications will continue to evolve throughout the year in response to market needs, especially the taxonomies, which can play an increased role in supporting brand safety classifications within news content.

A full overview of the taxonomy updates can be found on Tech Lab’s original blog post announcing the public comment period. The updated .xls versions of each taxonomy can be found on their respective specification homepages linked below. The IAB Tech Lab also plans to make JSON versions available on its Github repository

  • Content Taxonomy updates: click here
  • Audience Taxonomy updates: click here

Any comments or questions can be directed to


Benjamin Dick
Senior Director of Product – Consumer Privacy, Identity and Data
IAB Tech Lab