PARAKEET stands for “Private and Anonymized Requests for Ads that Keep Efficacy and Enhance Transparency” and refers to Microsoft’s open source proposal that encompasses the privacy-preserving website monetization model. 


Simply put, the PARAKEET proposal introduces a notion of a so-to-speak “browser trusted service”, focused on the anonymization of ad requests, as well as the inferred (i.e. evidence-based) end user interests definition and analysis.

Namely, some of the major use cases for PARAKEET include lookalike targeting, retargeting, contextual targeting, as well as the in-market audience analysis through semantic representation. 

How it works:

Working in conjunction with the browser-trusted service, a web browser will modify ad requests prior to sending those to an ad network (ad provider) the following way:

  • anonymization of a publisher-provided context, end user geodata, and/or any other specific context info;
  • addition of anonymized end users’ ad interests data [categories], in compliance with existing privacy laws and regulations;
  • support of inference models for end user interests, based on their website activity, for advertising purposes.

Further on, ad networks will handle ad matching and ad ranking processes, as well as the ad action itself, using both the contextual data, and the end user interest data, obtained from the anonymized ad request.  

Potential Benefits of PARAKEET

According to the developers team behind PARAKEET, the initiative should substantially improve end user privacy, while retaining publishers’ ability to monetize their inventory with digital ads. 

The proposal introduces a set of APIs that utilize a browser-trusted service, already mentioned herein, to grasp audience interests for ad targeting purposes, without enabling ad networks to track users across the web either actively, or passively. 

The described approach basically removes the necessity to implement user tracking across websites, by offering new privacy-centered ways to handle the monetization aspect. 

In addition, it allows maintaining digital ad auction capabilities within the existing digital ad tech ecosystem. But, more importantly, it requires minimal changes from the side of publishers, which should supposedly accelerate its industry-wide adoption, in case the relevant consensus is achieved among the key market players.  

Perspectives of Adoption

The PARAKEET proposal has already received positive feedback from IAB Tech Lab and some other companies on the market, which actually perceive it as a potential alternative to Google’s FLEDGE and Apple’s Privacy Relay initiatives.

However, its effective usage for digital advertising purposes requires the implementation of accompanying proposals, too, primarily MaCAW, specifically aimed at handling brand safety checks, ad quality checks on the publisher side and other essential aspects of the ad serving process in the new, privacy-centered environment.. 

For more technical details on the PARAKEET proposal, please refer to the detailed implementation guide.

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