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‘An area of big investment’: Google talk new tech matching advertisers and publishers at IAB summit

Google Publisher Advertiser Identity Reconciliation (PAIR), a new technology that securely matches advertisers and publishers, is live, and, in a significant move, management has been transferred to the IAB Tech Lab.

Speaking at the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) Data and Privacy Summit on Wednesday, Google AUNZ’s head of programmatic media, Chris Eden, highlighted the company’s ongoing commitment to artificial intelligence and data privacy. 

IAB Australia is the peak trade association for online advertising. Its’ Tech Lab is comprised of data and privacy professionals and focuses on brand safety and ad fraud, identity, data and consumer privacy, as well as programmatic effectiveness. 

The IAB Tech Lab aims to integrate PAIR with its Open, Join, and Activation (OPJA) protocol, streamlining the industry’s approach to data matching and reconciliation.

Google has positioned itself as a leading AI company since 2017, innovating in areas such as General Server AI and first-party data collection, Eden highlighted. 

“Essentially, PAIR is a privacy-centric and secure protocol that allows an advertiser to match their data with a publisher in a very secure way,” he said. 

“PAIR is enhanced with advanced encryption. In fact, each data set is encrypted three times, and no one party has access to all three keys, so you can never decrypt that data.” 

He noted that triple encryption is enabled by Google’s clean room partners, including InfoSum and LiveRamp, which play a crucial role in scaling the encryption process and managing data warehousing.  

Eden was joined on stage by Infosum GM Rick Knott and LiveRamp senior vice president Daniella Harkins, plus other industry experts.

Harkins said early tests have shown that clients using PAIR have experienced up to a fourfold increase in return on ad spend.

We’re seeing results with PAIR because of the accuracy and how we’re leveraging and partnering. I think that’s incredibly exciting for a lot of the brands and advertisers in the room today,” she added. 

Dataco co-founder Danny Tyrrell praised the open-sourcing of PAIR, noting its potential to enhance both user privacy and operational efficiency for businesses. 

“Open-sourcing these technologies is net positive for the industry; we’ve been crying out to be involved with these sorts of programs for ages,” he said.    

However, Tyrrell highlighted that while privacy-enhancing technologies like PAIR are positive, organisations should continue to work with their legal teams to ensure full compliance with privacy regulations.  

“Saying you use privacy-enhancing technologies doesn’t make you privacy compliant” he added.  

Commenting on the update, IAB CEO Gai Le Roy added: “At the IAB we believe that having one industry standard to solve a problem that can help develop harmonised, consistent, and efficient market operations.

“Enabling IAB Tech Lab and the industry develop on top of the Google PAIR protocol is a positive development for the market.”

It comes after News Corp also announced at Tuesday’s D_Coded event that it is enhancing its Customer Match advertising targeting capabilities by integrating Google PAIR.

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