Commentary

Taboola, Ad Lightning Help Publishers, Advertisers With Post-GDPR Features

After announcing its plans months ago, Facebook cut off third-party data to advertisers this week, leaving advertisers strategizing how to gather information about their target audiences going forward.

This move comes as citizens are becoming more concerned about privacy online, and not just in the E.U. where the GDPR took effect in May.

Following the implementation of the GDPR, many publishers were left wondering how they would make up for lost data. Industry experts predict that data laws will tighten in the U.S. too. Months after the regulation took effect in Europe, over 1,000 publications continue to block European visitors from their sites.

To ease the transition to compliance, while continuing to drive much-needed traffic, Taboola and Ad Lightning have each introduced new solutions and partnerships for the publishing and advertising industries.

Earlier this month, content discovery platform Taboola announced a new partnership with Axel Springer’s BILD that would allow Taboola to launch its recommendation technology across 10 digital properties. The goal is to promote paid content offerings and generate increased revenue.

Taboola was among those companies that began to prepare for the GDPR in advance, outlining its goals to be compliant, including the appointment of an internal GDPR task force and a data protection officer, along with new security systems, in a blog post from September 2017.

That preparation has allowed the company to join forces with European publishers looking to deepen revenue in compliant ways.

Adam Singolda, CEO Taboola, told Publishing Insider: “Our main goal is to drive user engagement and loyal audience growth across the BILD Group’s brands. Leveraging our deep learning technology, Taboola’s newsroom insights, and real-time A/B testing capabilities, BILD editorial teams can test creatives and see the performance of content in real time, as well as build a taxonomy of topics their users are most interested in reading.”

Also, tapping into new needs following the GDPR is ad intelligence company Ad Lightning. This week, the company released a tool, which it claims is the first of its kind, that provides publishers and ad exchanges with greater insight into data collection and data leakage. It grants them the ability to approve certain compliant data collectors.

The tool is meant to be used by E.U. entities under the GDPR and outlets in the U.S. that want to maintain overall data integrity.

Ad Lightning began to be GDPR compliant in the fall of 2017, developing its insights dashboard a few months before regulations came into effect. The new Data Collection feature builds upon that work.

“One of the key ways to stay compliant with GDPR is to understand how data is being collected  — by whom — and whether data collectors and their intermediaries have permission to do so,” Scott Moore, CEO, Ad Lightning, told Publishing Insider.

The new feature shows publishers all the data collectors on each ad exchange or network sending ads to their sites and shows ad exchangers which data collectors have contractual permission to participate, based on the GDPR standards.

This transparency allows publishers to create “approved” and “unapproved” lists of third parties allowed to collect data from their inventory. Traffic can also be filtered according to geography.

With strict penalties in place for websites that violate the new regulations and Google’s stronghold across the ad industry as a result, tools that allow publishers autonomy through trusted paths is essential.

Moore continued: “The biggest benefit to publishers is the ability to monitor GDPR compliance across their supply chain. No one wants to violate the regulations, but until now, it's been impossible for publishers to confirm if the ads they are running are adhering to their policies.”
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