Last Tuesday (26th November) it was reported that Mozilla, operator of the Firefox web browser, will block the IAB's DigiTrust ID, which is an anonymized, cookie-based identifier used by media and ad tech companies.
IAB Tech LAB SVP of Membership and Operations Jordan Mitchell said 'This does not come as a surprise – we know certain companies take the position that there is no sufficient consumer value to justify "tracking" (anonymous audience recognition) of any kind, not even for use in communicating privacy choices. They believe no third party can be trusted. We take a different position: that trust should be established directly between consumers and the brands and publishers they trust, and with the third parties that those brands and publishers trust.
IAB Tech Lab commented 'we will continue to work on improving mechanics for privacy and trust, through consumer privacy choices and system-level, industry-wide accountability – and we think there's value for DigiTrust as a shared resource and utility in this context'.
IAB Europe echoes the comments from the Tech Lab and is convinced that through industry standards, users can be given the transparency and control that the law requires and they can establish trusted relationships between them and the online services on which they rely. For example, the Transparency and Consent Framework (TCF) enables consumers to selectively choose what use cases they are ok with and which companies, of those asking, they are comfortable sharing their data. Those consumer choices are communicated and respected throughout the ecosystem.
Without the revenues generated by data-driven advertising, it's likely that publishers would have to put up paywalls to survive. This would in effect create a two-tiered internet economy which only allows those who can pay to access quality informational, entertainment, business and other content, reducing consumer choice and penalising media. Consumers need to be able to choose for themselves which online services they pay for and which they access in exchange for a willingness to receive advertising. This is not something that browsers should mediate: 80% of EU citizens have said that they prefer free content with advertising to paid-for content.