Kochava Tackles Digital Advertising with Unified Privacy-First Identity Solution - Identity Review - Identity Review | Global Tech Think Tank

Understanding user identities and desires and analyzing user data are paramount to the digital advertising industry, and have been since the birth of advertising. In the digital age, advertisers have been able to collect their insights through the use of cookies and tracking. However, with Apple’s announcement on sweeping changes to their Identification for Advertisers (IDFA) with the release of iOS 14, advertisers are now scrambling to reframe their digital marketing strategies to maintain the same level of user insights while valuing privacy and security.

In mid-July, attribution platform Kochava announced the release of a new unified identity solution, Kochava IdentityLocker®. The platform aims to serve the needs of both demand advertisers and media suppliers using a privacy-first and synergistic approach. This release closely follows Apple’s announcement of changes to IDFA with the new iOS 14 from late June. With their new solution, Kochava aims to continue helping digital advertisers bridge cross-device identity for measurement and targeting using a privacy-first identity strategy. 

What is Kochava IdentityLocker®?

IdentityLocker provides a non-static identity token to users that bridges different players in the advertising ecosystem in a consensual and secure way. As Kochava founder and CEO Charles Manning explained, IdentityLocker effectively provides “a turnkey cleanroom mechanism whereby first parties can load their first-party data, and then permission it to designated partners.” Key features of the service can be divided into three categories:

  • Privacy First
    • Respecting platform-specific opt-in rules
    • Actor-specific identifiers eliminating re-use
    • Consent-enriched
    • Time-based optional
  • Multi-Platform
    • iOS • Android
    • Connected TV/Over-the-top (OTT)
    • Console
    • Other
  • ID- or Context-Based
    • Flexible support for identifiers
    • Optional support for contextual attributes as an alternative to IDs

How does IdentityLocker work?

First, IdentityLocker serves as a secure system for advertisers to load their first-party identity graphs into it, where any party can contribute whatever data keys are unique about that device. This data is onboarded in a way which allows for the incorporation of end-user consent, and the lockers in which the data is stored each provide siloed identity within the account. The device data is represented using an identity token rather than a static ID, which allows a user’s token and first-party data to be traced to prevent misuse and resale.

“Anywhere that token is used,” Manning states, “whether it’s an SSP that’s been displaying that ad for that publisher, or it’s a DSD that’s buying that ad, or it’s an advertiser that is consuming that data to do conversion tracking, all of them have their own token identifier representing that device and they use, as part of the service of Identity Locker, this capability of identity resolver. And identity resolver lets you pass in your token representing that device. And based on permissions and consent, that service resolves back to the token according to your own first-party data.”

The History of Kochava

Kochava was founded in 2011, with the goals of targeting the attribution and analytics space in mobile app development. As the digital ecosystem further evolved and developed, the company quickly integrated support for web, smart TV, and other digital platforms and connected devices, so that digital marketers could use the technology across platforms. 

In 2017, the company built Kochava Collective after realizing that although their customers wanted to have an overarching understanding of all of the digital connected devices and how they relate to one another, their enterprise customers were not interested in contributing data. So, a free version of their measurement product that catered to the long tail of the digital ecosystem was created that in return, licensed customer data to Kochava that could then be pooled as a resource for enterprises. 

This collective now contains over 8 billion devices around the world, with nearly 2 billion of them integrated with Kochava’s software development kit. They leverage one of the largest cookie pools, and have modeled out of over 90 million households with over 220 million devices attached to those households monthly.

The release of Kochava IdentityLocker this year is only the next step forward in Kochava’s mission to allow companies to securely measure their user engagement within a privacy-first and consent-compliant framework.

Evidently, a new age of advertising is beginning as people learn more about how their data is used and who has access to it. For digital advertising agencies, the challenge is no longer just about how to better understand their customers’ needs and wants, but rather, to understand their customers without invading their privacy. But, with new frameworks being developed in the industry, there is no doubt that protecting digital identity in digital advertising will become a new norm.

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