User Identification Is a Hot Topic at Identity 2023 

User Identification Is a Hot Topic at Identity 2023 

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Identity 2023, an annual event from the digital advertising identity provider ID5, is back this year, and there’s one topic on everyone’s mind — user identification. 

At the one-day Identity 2023 event, which was held virtually Wednesday, executives at some of the industry’s biggest firms will discuss how to balance data-driven advertising with data protection, and debate the effectiveness of alternative identity solutions and the future of addressability.

“There are many events that have addressability and data protection sessions in their agendas, but this is probably one of the only events that is fully focused on these topics,” says ID5 Chief Strategy Officer Joanna Burton. 

Industry heavyweights at firms like Criteo, Amobee, Lotame, and InMobi are using Identity 2023 as an opportunity to discuss data-driven advertising, user identification, data protection, and alternative identity solutions. Burton says advertisers attending the event can expect to learn about finding the right balance between personalization and data protection and how the recent shifts in content consumption are affecting measurement and reach. The evolving role of the SSP in the new era of digital advertising will also be discussed at length in a session with PubMatic.

“Interoperability is going to be a hot topic in the industry due to the complexity and fragmentation of the ecosystem,” says Burton. “We are looking forward to learning how various user identification resolutions can collaborate in 2023 to facilitate addressability for brands and publishers.”

As the digital advertising industry prepares to enter a world without cookies, new identification solutions are on everyone’s mind. While identity has always been a technical topic, Burton says the demise of third-party cookies has led to a shift. More professionals now are making an effort to understand how users are identified, so they can find ways to engage consumers without running into privacy regulations.

“There was a system, based on third-party cookies, that worked—even if it was far from being efficient—so understanding how wasn’t a big concern for many,” Burton says. “When that system has been challenged by the biggest browser, user identification became a hot discussion topic and everyone jumped on it and started to build or—claim to have—cookieless solutions. The low level of understanding of how identification really works, combined with the proliferation of cookieless solutions of all sorts, has created lots of confusion in the industry.” 

In ID5’s State of Digital Identity 2022 report, over half of respondents who had not yet adopted any identity solution said their inaction was because they were not clear about how the newest solutions work. Another 29% cited “choice overload” as a reason for their inaction.

Burton hopes that discussions at today’s event will lead to a greater understanding. She says too many brands are missing out on reaching cookieless audiences, and the need to build a resilient addressability strategy has never been greater, in light of the upcoming deprecation of third-party cookies.

“In the past few years, there have been new data protection regulations at the local and regional levels being implemented that change the rules of engagement with consumers. This can be overwhelming for most of us,” Burton says. “For 2023, we need to focus on information sharing and properly educating companies so that they fully understand their options and what will work best for their business.”

Stephanie Miles is a journalist who covers personal finance, technology, and real estate. As Street Fight’s senior editor, she is particularly interested in how local merchants and national brands are utilizing hyperlocal technology to reach consumers. She has written for FHM, the Daily News, Working World, Gawker, Cityfile, and Recessionwire.