OPJA stands for Open Private Join and Activation and refers to the IAB tech specification, aimed at enhancing interoperability between data clean rooms through the introduction of a common standard for matching data sets in a privacy-preserving way.
What is OPJA?
Released as a part of data clean room (DCR) standards portfolio, IAB’s OPJA specification introduces a common framework, which enables audience data matching between the Supply and Demand sides, i.e. publishers, advertisers, their SSPs, DSPs and DCR vendors involved, accordingly, and its subsequent sharing between the parties for advertising purposes, – all without endangering End users’ Personal Data security.
That is, the use of OPJA should prevent the direct sharing of personally identifiable information, as well as the disclosure of End Users’ identities between the parties.
Note! As the experts admit, the mere use of data clean rooms and OPJA does not guarantee digital businesses’ compliance with privacy laws and regulations, instead focusing on the data minimization and the purpose limitation for the use of Personal Data.
In plain words, OPJA offers the standardized structure and formatting for data input, as well as the common standard for data output for matching purposes between the two parties (including the two different data clean rooms, which often utilize their own API methods). This enables advertisers to activate (target) overlapping audience segments, regardless of whether a publisher is collaborating with the same DCR provider, or not.
Released for public comment in February 2023, the draft version of OPJA encompasses the technical requirements, regarding the data input & output, and activation protocol; and also outlines reference designs of the so-called data matching systems. The document also dives into several scenarios of data collision and offers solutions on how to mitigate risks in this respect.
Perspectives of Adoption
A number of experts express doubts as to whether the large tech companies like Meta and Google (often called “walled gardens”) will embrace the implementation of OPJA, hence enforcing its use among other players across the digital advertising ecosystem. More importantly, the industry-wide adoption of the DCR concept didn’t happen in 2022, in spite of the huge buzz it has been generating. In view of this, as of H1 2023, the future perspectives of OPJA remain unclear.