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IAB Tech Lab Proposes Data Transparency Framework to Promote Responsible Audience Data Collection & Better Ad Experiences


Released for Public Comment, Framework & Companion Audience Taxonomy
Provide ID-Level Clarify for Marketplace and Support Consumers’ Digital Needs

NEW YORK, NY (May 23, 2018) –  The IAB Technology Laboratory today announced the release of Data Transparency Framework 1.0 for public comment—guidance that outlines sourcing disclosures for those collecting data used to target, personalize, and measure digital advertising. The proposal will introduce ID-level transparency into a largely opaque marketplace where data segment composition is difficult to evaluate—and collection and usage practices are increasingly scrutinized via legislation such as the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

The Framework includes:

  • A new set of minimum disclosure requirements for data sellers
  • An open API to structure and communicate information among supply chain participants and ease implementation requirements
  • Supporting compliance programs

The minimum disclosure requirements apply to each organization that may contribute to data segment generation. Disclosure includes quality signals such as attribute provenance and age, and whether attributes are associated with individuals, households, or businesses. The resulting awareness of data characteristics will benefit consumers by supporting more relevant ad experiences that can also be aligned with forthcoming consent requirements.

Version 1.0 of the Framework establishes a launching point for IAB Tech Lab’s efforts to enable a simple and flexible approach to data organization and labeling. It reduces friction in the supply chain and provides much needed clarity to engagements between data providers, marketers, and consumers—especially vital in a consumer privacy and consent-driven environment.

IAB Tech Lab is also introducing a companion resource for public comment: Audience Taxonomy 1.0. As one of the disclosure requirements for Data Transparency, the taxonomy provides standard segment names that data sellers can reference, making it easier for buyers and platforms to compare and consider conceptually similar data segments.

“The Data Transparency Framework enables meaningful understanding of attributes and sourcing practices across data providers,” said Dennis Buchheim, Senior Vice President and General Manager, IAB Tech Lab. “In parallel, we’re developing standards to bring similar transparency to identity management offerings, and we acquired the DigiTrust ID service to improve efficiency and safety in audience recognition. Together, these efforts enable more effective use of data in marketing and help improve consumer ad experiences – ultimately supporting digital marketing’s ongoing role in funding content and services.”

“Thanks to its simple approach, the Framework will unlock value in the data supply chain,” said David Justus, Vice President, Data Acquisition and Operations, Lotame and Co-Chair of IAB Tech Lab Data Transparency Standards Working Group. “This marks the start of a new era for the data business. Finally, the market will recognize and value data as the unique and differentiated product it is. The Framework will end the false notion that data is a commodity.”

“We are very encouraged by the IAB Tech Lab’s approach to data transparency through its newly developed Framework 1.0,” said Louis Jones, Executive Vice President, Media and Data, 4A’s. “It represents an opportunity for agencies and advertisers to gain key insights to the characteristics and utility of different data sets and their value in driving marketing results.  We look forward to the public comment period and industry response to this new initiative.”

“We absolutely intend to be an early adopter of this compliance program,” said Alysia Borsa, Chief Marketing and Data Officer, Meredith Corporation. “This Framework will help reward and differentiate transparent, high-quality data partners, like ourselves, and this is critically important to us.”

The public comment period will be run through July 16, 2018, after which the IAB Data Transparency Standards Working Group will evaluate the comments and incorporate feedback. Comments can be emailed to To review the Data Transparency Framework 1.0 and Audience Taxonomy 1.0, please go to


About IAB Technology Laboratory
The IAB Technology Laboratory (“Tech Lab”) is a non-profit research and development consortium that produces and provides standards, software, and services to drive growth of an effective and sustainable global digital media ecosystem. Comprised of digital publishers and ad technology firms, as well as marketers, agencies, and other companies with interests in the interactive marketing arena, IAB Tech Lab aims to enable brand and media growth via a transparent, safe, effective supply chain, simpler and more consistent measurement, and better advertising experiences for consumers, with a focus on mobile and “TV”/digital video channel enablement. The IAB Tech Lab portfolio includes the DigiTrust real-time standardized identity service designed to improve the digital experience for consumers, publishers, advertisers, and third-party platforms. Board members include AppNexus, ExtremeReach, Google, GroupM, Hearst Digital Media, Integral Ad Science, Index Exchange, LinkedIn, MediaMath, Microsoft, Oracle’s Moat, Pandora, PubMatic, Quantcast, Telaria, The Trade Desk, and Yahoo! Japan. Established in 2014, the IAB Tech Lab is headquartered in New York City with an office in San Francisco and representation in Seattle and London.

IAB Media Contact
Laura Goldberg