Katsurs statement is equivocal and would seem to leave the door open to the possibility of the Tech Lab serving as the admin for UID2 down the line, thats an unlikely circumstance.
One of the primary reasons that IAB Tech Lab is decreasing isnt going to change, whichs the fear of being held responsible for offenses of the General Data Protection Regulation, particularly if regulators in Europe designate the UID2 admin as a controller under the law.
Its hard to blame the Tech Lab because of the recent decision that came down from the Belgian data protection authority, which pegged IAB Europe as a data controller for its Transparency and Consent Framework.
By the very same token.
The IAB Tech Lab isnt backing away completely. It currently hosts and will continue to host the open-source code repositories for Unified ID 2.0 on GitHub. The Tech Lab will also begin working on a technical spec for the safe and secure tokenization of user-level IDs more broadly.
The Tokenization Framework, as the IAB is calling this effort, is meant to work as a structure that marketers and publishers will have the ability to utilize to create interoperability between various identity resolution companies. It will live under the broader Project Rearc umbrella and be governed by the Tech Lab Privacy and Rearc Commit Group.
” In that spirit, we will focus our efforts on ensuring more market individuals add to and adopt the spec,” Katsur composed.
Simply put, the Tech Lab is pulling away to its default position as a requirements creator rather than an enforcer.
In addition to GDPR-related concerns, some Tech Lab board members watch out for being held responsible for UID2s kill switch. If a company in the UID2 partner ecosystem were to violate the efforts standard procedure, it would be up to the UID2 admin to unplug the bad actor, something IAB Tech Lab was ultimately unpleasant with doing.
The Trade Desk, LiveRamp and ID5 are the very first three companies that pledged to embrace the framework as part of their services.
Constructing out the Tokenization Framework is going to take time, since building agreement always takes time.
And, in the meantime …
What about Europe?
At RampUp earlier today, The Trade Desk and LiveRamp announced plans to work with European market leaders to establish and deploy a European variation of Unified ID 2.0.
The European Unified ID (EUID), as its being called, will be created with GDPR and approval structure restrictions (oh, hi there, TCF) in mind.
Like it did before open sourcing the code base for UID2, The Trade Desk will lead the production of EUID, and LiveRamp will provide the infrastructure to bring the ID to market through its Authenticated Traffic Solution.
The Trade Desk was extremely keen to launch UID2 in Europe. During a conference of IAB Europes Post Third-Party Cookie Task Force early in 2015, a Trade Desk representative intimated that stopping working to introduce in Europe would be tantamount to a failure of the UID2 initiative as a whole.
The push for EUID. The exact same challenge will crop up for EUID as presently faces UID2– as in, whos going to be the admin?
IAB Tech Lab is not presently included in the EUID initiative. According to Katsur, nevertheless, “Tech Lab is open to revisiting the function of running any necessary international infrastructure at a future date.”.
( But which entity ultimately fills the admin shoes for EUID is a moot point according to some who dont believe the initiative itself is feasible. In answer to the question of whether the European Unified ID has a possibility at succeeding, one market expert didnt mince words: “Zero possibility in hell.”).
Whos going to work as the administrator for Unified ID 2.0?
Not the IAB Tech Lab.
Previously this week, CEO Anthony Katsur noted in a post (almost offhandedly) that the Tech Lab has chosen not to handle the technical admin function for UID 2.0 “at this point.”
A Trade Desk spokesperson told AdExchanger the hunt for an independent admin continues. (Katsur informed Insider, however, he couldnt think about another trade group that might work as admin.).
Better safe than …
The Tech Lab was seriously flirting with the concept of becoming the administrator (and all however dedicated early last year) however never officially took on the task.