Bill Gates On Ad Regulation; The Spread Of First-Price Auctions

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Bill Gates On Ad Privacy

Regulation poses a striking challenge to online ad sellers, “but I do think the big companies, as regulation comes, will be able to handle it,” says Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates in a CNBC interview alongside Warren Buffett. “People don’t mind having a little bit of demographic information about themselves used to target ads. That’s value added to the user. And there are issues about medical records or the content of your communications that are very private. One challenge with the privacy laws is making sure small companies can still get involved in the ad market. These rules could block lots of new companies.” Watch the segment.

Nothing Personal​

Google will let publishers choose between “personalized ads” and “non-personalized ads” as part of its ​GDPR compliance efforts, the company said in a note to DFP customers on Friday.  Publishers that choose “personalized ads” are then given two options: Either manually upload a list of ad tech partners or choose a curated list of about 200 commonly used vendors. “The commonly used list comprises the ad technology providers associated with the most revenue to publishers,” the note said. The idea is that with a curated list of top tech vendors, most publishers will be set with whichever partners they list in opt-in pop-ups. The partners in the pre-set bundle include DSPs, SSPs, ad networks, holding company tech solutions, in-app ad tech and point solutions like retargeting, location-based targeting and even travel search. Related: Google’s default consent tool for end users will only allow publishers to obtain tracking opt-ins for a maximum of 12 vendors. Read that.

At What Price?

The first-price auction model is on the rise. Forty-three percent of impressions were sold on first-price auctions in March, according to a study by DSP Getintent that assessed bids across 39 SSPs. That’s way up from December, when a similar study found just 5.8% of impressions sold in first-price auctions. Getintent estimates that OpenX and PubMatic sell 40-60% of their inventory in first-price auctions and Index Exchange sells almost all of its inventory using that model. More at eMarketer.

School Of Hard Knocks

Facebook didn’t strictly observe how academic researchers applied the sensitive data it made available to them, as evidenced by the ease with which Cambridge Analytica was able to take receipt of such data from Cambridge professor Aleksandr Kogan. In an examination of six data sets compiled by researchers from 2006 to 2017, The New York Times found studies of national political preferences and civic engagement that drew on data generated by 21 million Facebook users across four continents. “What Kogan did was wrong. But what Kogan did, many others do on a much larger scale,” says Michal Kosinski, former researcher and creator of Facebook quiz app MyPersonality. “They just don’t get caught.” More.

Mind The Store

Le Figaro, one of two French newspapers of record along with Le Monde, was suspended from the Apple App Store for part of the weekend because of its location data and advertising SDK vendor Teemo. All the apps licensing Teemo’s SDK seem to have been briefly dropped from the Apple store, reports the Journal du Net (in French). It could be the first of many such brief expulsions as Apple shuts down offending vendors to comply with GDPR. Apple’s sudden decision to excise the Teemo SDK – at least until it’s re-accepted into the App Store – comes just after a BuzzFeed report on the company. Apple and Google often kick out problematic third-party software after press exposure.

But Wait, There’s More!

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