Unified ID 2.0

Unified ID 2.0 (or shortly UID2) refers to the Trade Desk’s initiative, developed as a potential alternative to third-party cookies, in view of their upcoming deprecation.

UID 2.0 Benefits

From the technical perspective, Unified ID 2.0 is being built from hashed & encrypted email addresses, and is unconvertable back to the initial email variant, according to the initiative developers.

Unlike the Google’s Privacy Sandbox initiatives like FLoC, UID2 has a persistent value, hence enables cross-site customer tracking, which makes it a potentially efficient cookie substitute, at least to a certain extent. 

More importantly, Unified ID 2.0 remains an open source solution, at least for now, which makes it more accessible for testing and evaluation by independent industry bodies like the IAB Tech Lab, as well as businesses on the buy and sell sides.

Prebid.org Involvement 

The independent governance of the Unified 2.0 initiative and its being open source is currently ensured by Prebid.org, which agreed to become its operator, i.e. handle software and hardware infrastructure management, as well as the email encryption / decryption processes oversight. 

In addition, Prebid.org’s GitHub will host the software, underpinning the IDs. 

At the same time, the organization will not be providing any policing functionality, regarding the Unified ID 2.0 initiative.

Possible Pitfalls

Since Unified ID 2.0 is an email-based solution, its effectiveness is dependent on whether customers will be eager to give consent for sharing of their hashed emails on a global scale. 

More importantly, it will be vital to provide transparent opt-outs to website/app users, in case they wish to clear/reset their UID2’s (just like they can do it now, with MAIDs and browser cookies). 

Implementation Time Frame

The Unified ID 2.0 initiative is currently in review by the IAB Tech Lab in coordination with the PRAM (the Partnership for Responsible Addressable Media) working groups, where independent, reputable adtech experts are evaluating and vetting its functional core, prior to its wider implementation by the industry. 

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