There’s a whole lot of privacy discussion going on at the federal level, with the Federal Trade Commission proposing a Do Not Track browser option. The idea is that consumers could limit cookies or other sniffers that open the door to tracking their browsing behavior for the purpose of delivering online ads. It’s the do-not-follow equivalent to the Do Not Call list.
Is that good news for the semantic web advertising space? Peer39 CEO Andy Ellenthal thinks so. “As it relates specifically to Peer39 it certainly raises the visibility of non-cookie based targeting solutions like we provide,” he says. That said, however, he’s hopeful the powers-that-be proceed with caution. “The augmentation of highly contextualized or categorized data in addition to audience data is an incredibly effective combination, so it’s our hope from an industry perspective that the marketplace and industry and Congress deals with this in an appropriate manner, and not just react to limited amounts of information, because the reality is the audience-data providers do add a tremendous amount of value to the publishes and to the buyers.”
Agreeing with that viewpoint is Raleigh Harbour, SVP of Business Development at the Rubicon Project, Peer39’s latest partner. The Rubicon Project and its technology services online content publishers, connecting them to its partners in demand channels, such as ad networks, exchanges, and DSPs, with pricing data to appropriately price impressions and audience data to make those impressions more valuable. “There are good ways and right ways to do things when it comes to targeting [to make ads more relevant for the user] and wrong ways,” he says. “We’re working towards putting in place the right structure, process and frameworks…to make this a value exchange.” And, he adds, he hopes the FTC and advocacy groups are thoughtful as they contemplate their options, “so as not to hinder a huge part of e-commerce and our economy.”