Data clean room as a post-cookie solution

By Jalaja Ramanunni

Dr Hoda Daou, general manager, Annalect MENA

The demise of third-party cookies has significantly impacted the use of data clean rooms in marketing and advertising. Third-party cookies were previously the main source of data for marketers and advertisers, providing a wealth of information about consumer behavior and interests. However, with the increased focus on data privacy and the widespread rejection of third-party cookies, companies are now looking for alternative sources of data.

A data clean room is a secure environment used in marketing and advertising to process sensitive information while maintaining its privacy and confidentiality.

Campaign Middle East interviewed Dr Hoda Daou, general manager, Annalect MENA, to explain what data clean rooms are and how advertisers are using it in the region.

Who can benefit from data clean rooms? What are some of the use cases?

With changing industry standards and stricter compliance requirements, there is a critical need for brands to start implementing future-proofed advertising strategies that ensure privacy compliance. Neutral clean rooms allow access to insights and audience from first-party data in a privacy-first and secure environment. Advertisers can benefit from clean rooms to enrich their data by getting insights on their consumers and even creating a niche and high-quality audience segments for retargeting. In addition, any data owner can benefit from clean rooms by monetising their data in a compliant way towards audience insights and activation. Imagine an FMCG brand seeking to target individuals based on purchase behaviour, such a brand can build a partnership with a retailer to build insights on what products they purchase and at what frequency, even looking at competitors’ products. Doing this through the clean room ensures the privacy of these individuals and enables insights sharing that increases relevancy and therefore improves performance.

Are clients in the region aware of the concept? Are they curious about it?

Clients in the region are getting more familiar with the concept. It is still relatively new here. Being ready for clean rooms requires many different steps such as having a robust and well-structured first-party data and having the right consent management when collecting the data.

What type of data gets processed in the clean room?

The data depends on the goal behind setting up the data clean room. The first part of building the framework for data clean rooms is to understand the goal of the advertiser and the expectations from the clean room. Then specific use cases would be developed, and the data would be aligned with those use cases. For example, if an advertiser wants to enrich their first-party data with purchase behaviour insights, data would be coming from retailers.

Will the data be stored electronically or physically in the clean room?

One of the most important pillars of the clean room is maintaining full ownership of your first-party data. The data will be physically stored in a cloud instance fully owned by the data owner. There are very granular data governance rules that enable the data owner to get the right restrictions on the data.

How will the data be accessed in the clean room, and by whom?

The clean room can be accessed through a web portal as it sits in a cloud environment. There are strict authentication processes that make sure access is granted to approved individuals.

How is personal identifiable information (PII) security ensured?

As part of the clean room framework, PII data is never shared outside the data owner instance. When data is accessed, only insights are shared at an aggregated level. This means clean rooms only disclose information at a segment level and never at an individual level. This is called differential privacy and ensures no PII or identifiable information is revealed.

What happens to the data at the end of the process?

The data doesn’t leave the clean room. First-party data remains under the ownership of the data partner, and a copy is never released outside the clean room. The concept behind the clean room is the share insights at a segment level, and therefore, data is protected and secured in the clean room.