Military-Grade Ad Verification: Q&A With CHEQ's Avital

Ad verification is so complicated,  it may take a former Israeli intelligence officer to develop a military-grade protocol to detect and prevent ad fraud — which is what happened with CHEQ, founded by Guy Tytunovich. CHEQ positions itself as “a cyber-security company looking to replace traditional ad-verification platforms with a fully autonomous and pre-emptive solution.”

I sat down with CHEQ’s Chief Strategy Officer, Daniel Avital, to find out more:

Charlene Weisler: How does CHEQ prevent ad fraud?

Daniel Avital: Every time a user is about to be served an ad, our system rapidly analyzes almost 700 parameters and sets multiple honeypots (bot traps) to determine the authenticity of that user and ensure that only human traffic gets served.

Weisler: Does it protect privacy?

Avital: Ultimately, our mission is to protect the digital ecosystem, and privacy is a big part of that effort. To that end, we are fully compliant with the new GDPR regulations and have brought designated personnel on board to ensure that our privacy practices continue to be protective of user privacy, which we believe to be a basic right.

Weisler: How does CHEQ work in real time?

Avital: To enable real-time prevention, our engineering teams have had to continuously optimize our algorithms to ensure all our fraud prevention and brand-safety NLP (natural processing language) modules run simultaneously, cost-efficiently and at great speed. This allows CHEQ to make an accurate decision before an ad is ever served.

Weisler: Does CHEQ work with programmatic in some form?

Avital: We cover all digital advertising environments, including programmatic, whether it be display or video — where we are introducing unique and cutting-edge capabilities to the industry.

Weisler: Can CHEQ be used for other media applications?

Avital: Absolutely. At this point in time, CHEQ’s focus is on transforming the ad-verification space (ad fraud, brands safety and viewability), but our ultimate goal is to help advertisers take back control of their digital media, a goal that transcends ad verification. Our R&D teams are developing exciting applications for our tech, which will give advertisers new tools like autonomous PR (crisis management, reacting to competitors, breaking stories).

Weisler: How does the technology work?

Avital: For fraud prevention, CHEQ's platform applies various proprietary modules to detect suspicious non-human activity, data discrepancies and behavioral anomalies. On the brand-safety side, we apply advanced NLP modules to intelligently analyze content at page level and ensure advertisers only serve ads alongside brand-safe content.

Weisler: What advice would you give a digital advertiser working with an ad-verification vendor?

Avital: Stress-test them, and don’t blindly trust the accuracy of their measurement and reporting. Do not put up with a vendor who offers a “black-box” solution. Always ask them to provide you with raw data (flagged IPs, flagged “unsafe” URLs, traffic sources etc.) so that you can assess their work with an external party.

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