IAB Tech Lab publishes draft portfolio of Project Rearc standards

Posted on: Monday 22 March 2021 | IAB UK

The standards, which focus on responsible addressability and predictable privacy, are open for industry comment

With less than a year until third-party cookies are phased out across all browsers, and with imminent changes to mobile ad IDs, IAB Tech Lab has been collaborating with the ad and media industry via Project Rearc. The aim of Project Rearc is to develop privacy-preserving specifications and best practices to support the development of open-source and proprietary solutions. 

Tech Lab has now released initial specifications and best practices to support re-architecting digital media for addressability, accountability and privacy. These are released in partnership with PRAM (Partnership for Responsible Addressable Media), which brings together business, policy, and technical efforts across a full range of industry stakeholders.

The standards are currently open for industry comment and Tech Lab is urging the industry to get involved with vetting the specifications and best practices, which aim to provide a foundation for responsible targeting, measurement, and attribution solutions with consumer privacy at the forefront.

IAB Tech Lab states: “All of the specifications and best practices being released are designed to be pragmatic, secure, scalable, supportive of marketplace innovation, and enablers of conformity to data transparency standards for publishers, advertisers, and constituents across the advertising ecosystem, whether or not advertisers and publishers are able to connect their audiences directly.” These include:  

  • The Accountability Platform: Ensures that all supply chain participants can consistently prove that they are adhering to user preferences. It provides specifications for open, auditable data structures, and standard practices intended to reliably demonstrate digital advertising supply chain conformity to preferences and restrictions set by users and the digital properties they visit. Open for public comment until 7 May 2021. Download the platform and provide feedback here

  • The Global Privacy Platform: Builds on prior standards to ensure that user data is passed in a safe and transparent manner. It addresses capturing and encoding regional user data rights and preferences into a standardised format that can be propagated through the supply chain. The aim is to offer users reliable transparency and control, and to support efficient compliance for industry participants amidst ongoing regulatory evolution. The Global Privacy Platform is designed to plug into the Accountability Platform, which enables compliance programs to analyse whether the advertising supply chain respects user preferences. Open for public comment until 8 April 2021. Download the platform and provide feedback here

Two addressability-focused releases are also being announced for public comment, supporting separate but complementary approaches and intended interoperability with the Accountability Platform.

  • Best Practices for User-Enabled Identity Tokens: A set of guidelines to ensure security and consumer privacy in scenarios when publishers and marketers offer personalised content and services tied to a user-provided email or phone number. Open for public comment until 7 May 2021. Download the platform and provide feedback here

  • Taxonomy & Data Transparency Standards to Support Seller-Defined Audience and Context Signalling: Specifications for ad-supported publisher content when no user-provided or third-party identifier is available, relying on standardised seller-defined audience and contextual attributes being passed within OpenRTB (real-time bidding). Open for public comment until 7 May 2021. Download the platform and provide feedback here

To review the proposed standard and provide feedback, please go to: https://iabtechlab.com/rearc 

Please note that the Global Privacy Platform comment length is 30 days (ending 8 April 2021), while other comment periods are 60 days (ending 7 May 2021).

You can find out more about the new releases via IAB Tech Lab here

Written by


Related content


IAB UK statement in response to Google announcement of delay to phase-out of third-party cookies

With Google announcing that it now intends to begin phasing out third-party cookies in Chrome in the second half of 2024, read a statement from our CEO...

Learn more
IAB Tech Lab logo

IAB Tech Lab launches Global Privacy Platform (GPP) to consolidate privacy signals for digital advertising

The GPP streamlines how technology makes sense of choice, transparency and consent by providing an adaptive framework that puts the consumer at the...

Learn more

IAB Tech Lab releases Seller Defined Audiences

The Seller Defined Audiences (SDA) specification has been created to allow publishers, DMPs and data providers to scale first-party data responsibly and...

Learn more

IAB Tech Lab launches PETs Working Group to support sustainable privacy solutions

The Privacy Enhancing Technologies (PETs) Working Group to support the creation of long-term sustainable solutions to privacy

Learn more

Why digital advertising works

Discover why digital advertising is effective for reaching your customers and building brands.