IAB Tech Lab launch Content and Audience Taxonomy updates

Posted on: Friday 17 July 2020 | IAB UK

The new updates provide safeguards to reduce the risk of special category data arising within RTB

Content Taxonomy 2.1 and Audience Taxonomy 1.1  introduce additional consumer privacy safeguards, which aim to minimise the risk that content categorisation signals within Open RTB requests could be used to generate sensitive data points - about things like race, politics, religion or other personal characteristics - that could result in discrimination. Specifically: 

  • The Content Taxonomy 2.1 introduces an extension (indicator) to taxonomy nodes that could be used to generate sensitive or special category data and provides a clear signal to supply chain participants regarding the privacy implications of storing it. Associated updates to the AdCOM (Advertising Common Object Model) / Open RTB guidance have also been made 

  • The Audience Taxonomy 1.1. update aligns much of the nomenclature with the new Content Taxonomy updates and deprecates segment names that could be used to describe sensitive data types

In a blog post announcing the updates, IAB Tech Lab explain that the changes are part of the digital ad industry’s drive to “architect itself around privacy-by-design principles and mature in meaningful ways towards a more transparent and accountable supply-chain”. You can read the full piece here

If you use either of these taxonomies, we recommend that you implement the updated versions and review/update your data storage and related practices accordingly. If you use other taxonomies, or other approaches to categorising content or naming audience segments, we recommend that you review them, taking into account our recently launched special category data guidance, and update them if necessary.

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