Real-time bidding (RTB) is at a crossroads, thanks to Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
This week on The Big Story, we check out what the future holds for a tactic that revolutionized the way ads online were bought and sold. While final decisions aren’t imminent – European data authorities are only investigating into 2020 – it’s abundantly unclear whether the practice of using personal data to enable audience buying is fundamentally at odds with GDPR.
And if clear user consent can’t be ported to all of the necessary vendors participating in the RTB chain, does that mean RTB is dead in the water? Can contextual data be used instead?
And how does all this bode for RTB in the United States? American regulators are looking at GDPR as a model, in terms of how it’s written and enforced.
Of course, if RTB as we know it goes away, much of the ad tech ecosystem will as well. Such a situation could, according to AppNexus founder and former CEO Brian O’Kelley, concentrate an inordinate amount of power with Google.