InfoSum outs an identity linking tool that’s exciting marketing firms like Experian – TechSwitch

    InfoSum, a startup which takes a federated strategy to third-party knowledge enrichment, has launched a brand new product (known as InfoSum Bridge) that it says considerably expands the shopper identification linking capabilities of its platform.
    “InfoSum Bridge incorporates multiple identity providers across every identity type — both online and offline, in any technical framework — including deterministic, probabilistic, and cohort-level matches,” it writes in a press launch.
    It’s additionally disclosing some early adopters of the product — naming data-for-ads and data-aggregator giants Merkle, MMA and Experian as dipping in.
    The thought being they will proceed to complement (first-party) knowledge by having the ability to make linkages, by way of InfoSum’s layer, with different “trusted partners” that will have gleaned extra tidbits of information on these self-same customers.
    InfoSum says it has 50 enterprise prospects utilizing InfoSum Bridge at this level. The three firms it’s named within the launch all play within the digital advertising area.
    The 2016-founded startup (then known as CognitiveLogic) sells prospects a promise of “privacy-safe” knowledge enrichment run by way of a technical structure that enables queries to be run — and insights gleaned — throughout a number of databases, but maintains every pot as a separate silo. This means the uncooked knowledge isn’t being handed round between entities. 
    Why is that vital? Third-party knowledge assortment is drying up, after one (thousand) too many privateness scandals in recent times — coming with the authorized threat connected to background buying and selling of individuals’s knowledge because of knowledge safety regimes like Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation.
    That places the highlight squarely on first-party knowledge. However, companies whose fashions have been depending on entry to large knowledge about folks — i.e. having the ability to make scores of connections by becoming a member of up data on folks from completely different databases/sources (aka profiling) — are unlikely to be content material with relying purely on what they’ve been capable of be taught by themselves.
    This is the place InfoSum is available in, billing itself as a “neutral data collaboration platform”.
    Companies that will have been accustomed to getting their palms on lashings of private knowledge in years previous, because of rampant, industry-wide third-party knowledge assortment (by way of applied sciences like monitoring cookies) mixed with (ehem) lax knowledge governance — are having to forged round for options. And that seems to be stoking InfoSum’s development.
    And on the advertising entrance, bear in mind, third-party cookies are within the strategy of going away as Google tightens that screw…
    “We are growing faster than Slack (at equivalent stage e.g. Series A->B) because we are the one solution that is replacing the old way of doing things,” founder Nick Halstead tells TechSwitch. “Experian, Liveramp, Axciom, TransUnion, they all offer solutions to take your data. InfoSum is offering the equivalent of the ‘Cisco router for customer data’ — we don’t own the data we are just selling boxes to make it all connect.”
    “The announcement today — ‘InfoSum Bridge’ — is the next generation of building the ultimate network to ‘Bridge the industry chasm’ it has right now of hundreds of competing IDs, technical solutions and identity types, bringing a infrastructure approach,” he provides.
    We took a deep dive into InfoSum’s first product again in 2018 — when it was simply providing early adopters a glimpse of the “art of the possible”, because it put it then.
    Three+ years on it’s touting a big enlargement of its pipeline, having baked in help for a number of ID distributors/varieties, in addition to including probabilistic capabilities (to do matching on customers the place there isn’t any ID).

    Per a spokesman: “InfoSum Bridge is an extension of our existing and previous infrastructure. It enables a significant expansion of both our customer identity linking, and the limits of what is possible for data collaboration in a secure and privacy-focused manner. This is a combination of new product enhancements and announcement of partnerships. We’ve built capabilities to support across all ID vendors and types but also probabilistic and support for those publishers with unauthenticated audiences.”
    InfoSum payments its platform as “the future of identity connectivity”. Although, as Halstead notes, there’s now rising competitors for that idea, because the adtech {industry} scrambles to construct out different monitoring methods and ID providers forward of Google crushing their cookies for good.
    But it’s primarily making a play to be the trusted, unbiased layer that may hyperlink all of them.
    Exactly what this technical wizardry means for web customers’ privateness is troublesome to say. If, for instance, it continues to allow manipulative microtargeting, that’s hardly going to sum to progress.

    InfoSum has beforehand informed us its strategy is designed to keep away from people being linked and recognized by way of the matching — with, for instance, limits positioned on the bin sizes. Although its platform can also be configurable (which places privateness levers in its prospects palms). Plus there could possibly be edge circumstances the place overlapped knowledge units lead to a 100% match for a person. So quite a bit is unclear.
    The safety story appears cleaner, although.
    If the information is correctly managed by InfoSum (and it touts “comprehensive independent audits”, in addition to pointing to the decentralized structure as a bonus) that’s a giant enchancment on — at the least — one different state of affairs of complete databases being handed round between companies which can be (to place it politely) disinterested in securing folks’s knowledge themselves.
    InfoSum’s PR consists of the three canned quotes (beneath) from the trio of promoting {industry} customers it’s disclosing at this time.
    All of whom sound very completely happy certainly that they’ve discovered a method to maintain their “data-driven” advertising alive whereas concurrently getting to say it’s “privacy-safe”…

    John Lee, Global Chief Strategy Officer, Merkle: “The conversation around identity is continuing to be top of mind for marketers across the industry, and as the landscape rapidly changes, it’s essential that brands have avenues to work together using first-party identity and data in a privacy-safe way. The InfoSum Bridge solution provides our clients and partners a way to collaborate using their first-party data, resolved to Merkury IDs and data, with even greater freedom and confidence than with traditional clean room or safe haven approaches.”
    Lou Paskalis, Chairman, MMA Global Media and Data Board: “As marketers struggle to better leverage their first-party data in the transition from the cookie era to the consent era, I would have expected more innovative solutions to emerge.  One bright spot is InfoSum, which offers a proprietary technology to connect data, yet never share that data. This is the most customer-friendly and compliant technology that I’ve seen that enables marketers to fully realize the true potential of their first party data. What InfoSum has devised is an elegant way to respect consumers’ privacy choices while enabling marketers to realize the full benefit of their first party data.”
    Colin Grieves, Managing Director Experian: “At Experian we are committed to a culture of customer-centric data innovation, helping develop more meaningful and seamless connections between brands and their audiences. InfoSum Bridge gives us a scalable environment for secure, data connectivity and collaboration. Bridge is at the core of the Experian Match offering, which allows brands and publishers alike the ability to understand and engage the right consumers in the digital arena at scale, whilst safeguarding consumer data and privacy.”

    Thing is, intelligent technical structure that permits large knowledge fuelled modelling and profiling of individuals to proceed, by way of sample matching to establish “lookalike” prospects who can (for instance) be bucketed and focused with advertisements, doesn’t really sum to privateness as most individuals would perceive it… But, for certain, spectacular tech structure guys.
    The identical problem attaches to FloCs, Google’s proposed alternative for monitoring cookies — which additionally depends on federation (and which the EFF has branded a “terrible idea”, warning that such an strategy really dangers amplifying predatory focusing on).
    The tenacity with which the advertising {industry} seeks to cling to microtargeting does at the least underline why rights-focused regulatory oversight of adtech goes to be important if we’re to stamp out systematic societal horrors like advertisements that scale bias by discriminating towards protected teams, or the anti-democratic manipulation of voters that’s enabled by opaque focusing on and hyper-targeted messaging, circumventing the required public scrutiny.
    Tl;dr: Privacy isn’t just vital for the person. It’s a collective good. And conserving that collective commons protected from those that would search to use it — for a fast buck or worse — goes to require an entire different kind of oversight structure.

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