Publishers Scramble to Meet GDPR Deadline

For publishers, complying with the impending General Data Protection Regulation and the eventual ePrivacy law continues to involve a series of trust falls — too many for publishers’ comfort.

On April 25 — a month before GDPR takes effect — the Interactive Advertising Bureau Europe and IAB Tech Lab officially released a framework for publishers to ask if it is OK for the publisher and their ad tech vendors to collect and use people’s data. The framework is meant to maintain the status quo of targeted online advertising while abiding GDPR’s transparency rules and preparing for ePrivacy’s consent decree.

But publishers balked at the initial framework, saying it wasn’t transparent enough about how vendors would use the data. Quantcast, along with some publishers in the GDPR Implementation Working Group had “major concerns because they understand that they are liable for everything and wanted to make sure that we were closing loopholes,” said Somer Simpson, product lead at ad-measurement firm Quantcast and a member of the working group.

So a week after releasing the official framework, IAB Europe and IAB Tech Lab released an update that clarified what vendors would do with publishers’ audience data and gave publishers more control over which vendors could access that data.