IAB Tech Lab launches first clean room standards

The data clean room standards include DCR Guidance & Recommended Practices and will be open for public comment for 60 days.

IAB Tech Lab today announced the launch of its Data Clean Room (DCR) Standards portfolio, which includes the release of DCR Guidance & Recommended Practices, and also Open Private Join & Activation (OPJA) specifications. The standards will remain open for public comment for 60 days, until April 17, 2023.

As part of their Building for Privacy Series, the organization also released a primer for clean rooms that outlines the industry with definitions and concepts, and includes a roadmap of future clean room proposals and initiatives.

Why we care. Over the last two years, data clean rooms have emerged in digital advertising as a way for publishers, advertisers and their tech partners to share data for matching ads with individuals in a privacy-compliant manner The establishment of clean room partnerships by independent adtech companies, as well as the roll out of clean-rooms-as-a-service by AWS, has created a diverse field of offerings difficult to navigate without clear definitions and standards.


Guidance and efficient interoperability. “There is already a multitude of clean room vendors available, each with their own unique data-sharing mechanisms that their clients must work with,” said Shailley Singh, Executive Vice President, Product & Chief Operating Officer, IAB Tech Lab, in a release. “IAB Tech Lab is collaborating with the industry to create technical standards guidance and more efficient interoperability, which will make it easier for advertisers to leverage emerging and exciting DCR technology.”

“As this segment of the ecosystem matures, vendors can adopt IAB Tech Lab’s growing library of clean room standards to enable interoperable data collaboration use cases,” said Bosko Milekic, Chief Product Officer and co-founder for clean room technology company Optable, in a statement. “The goal is to enable secure, purpose-limited and privacy-protected data collaboration no matter who uses which technology provider and to do so while minimizing data movement.”

DCR Guidance and Recommended Practices. This document outlines baseline expectations for DCRs. It establishes the standards for privacy and security of data used in the clean room technology, so that data owners can be certain that data is safe and secure.

The new specifications offer guidance across various DCR use cases in digital advertising.

Open Private Join and Activation (OPJA). OPJA specifications help define interoperable clean room interactions, and were developed within IAB Tech Lab’s Rearc Addressable Working Group. The goal is to provide a framework for different parties to enhance audience activation in advertising without transferring personally identifiable information (PII) from one partner to the other.

This library of purpose-build specifications aims at providing the rules of the road between different vendors. Establishing and defining these interactions and use cases will make it easier for data owners to collaborate, making data clean rooms truly interoperable as the DCR marketplace matures.


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About the author

Chris Wood

Chris Wood draws on over 15 years of reporting experience as a B2B editor and journalist. At DMN, he served as associate editor, offering original analysis on the evolving marketing tech landscape. He has interviewed leaders in tech and policy, from Canva CEO Melanie Perkins, to former Cisco CEO John Chambers, and Vivek Kundra, appointed by Barack Obama as the country’s first federal CIO. He is especially interested in how new technologies, including voice and blockchain, are disrupting the marketing world as we know it. In 2019, he moderated a panel on “innovation theater” at Fintech Inn, in Vilnius. In addition to his marketing-focused reporting in industry trades like Robotics Trends, Modern Brewery Age and AdNation News, Wood has also written for KIRKUS, and contributes fiction, criticism and poetry to several leading book blogs. He studied English at Fairfield University, and was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. He lives in New York.