Despite clashes in the past, Mozilla partners with Meta on interoperable private attribution

MozillaCommentthe developer of Firefox and Meta AI (formerly Facebook), have had a long-running rivalry, with the former calling out the latter over the company’s abysmal record on privacy and security. However, Mozilla recently announced that it is working with Meta by adopting Interoperable Private Attribution, or IPA. API is a new approach that aims to enable conversion measurement – ​​or attribution – for advertising.

What is Interoperable Private Attribution?

The main concept of APIs is to replace ad reporting by action (eg, the browser sends data to an ad group when you click on an ad) with aggregate reporting for batches of events, as detailed in the draft proposal. To avoid fingerprinting, websites may produce a “match key” tied to your account or device, which is only accessible through the browser. A few features are also in place to prevent anyone (including companies or marketers who collect data) from identifying consumers who interact with advertisements. It is comparable to PriorMozilla’s tool for analyzing Firefox usage, released a few years ago.

Here are the reasons why Mozilla and Meta AI are working together:

  • The Internet depends on advertising for its survival. Mozilla has been trying to figure out how to apply privacy-preserving ad technology to the attribution problem so advertisers can get answers to key questions without compromising their privacy.
  • Advertisers use attribution, which creates metrics, to determine if their marketing strategies are working.
  • Publishers can also use related measurement approaches to determine how they are helping advertisers. Despite the fact that attribution is essential to advertising, existing attribution approaches offer poor privacy features.

Main components

According to Draft Proposal written by Erik Taubeneck (Meta), Ben Savage (Meta), Martin Thomson (Mozilla), here are the main components of the IPA:-

  • Definition of match keys: The goal is to create an interoperable API that allows each browser/mobile device used by a single person to generate standardized ad impression and conversion reports that can only be joined in the framework of a secure multiparty calculation using the proposed confidentiality. preserve the measurement protocol and trusted auxiliary servers.
  • Event generation: Mozilla offers a new API that allows developers to create standardized source events (ad impressions) and trigger events (ad conversions) from applications and websites.
  • Event Ranking Model: IPA recommends logging identical to what is already possible, except for the removal of global IDs and the addition of encrypted blobs.
  • Using encrypted match keys to join events: While previous approaches to aggregate attribution measurement recommended connecting source and trigger events on the device, Mozilla and Meta propose doing so in the context of multi-party computation secured.
  • Measurement Results: Mozilla and Meta propose that each site/app have an overall privacy budget (per match key). Consider the scenario where a site/application only generates source reports or trigger reports.

Controversial

Despite the fact that the proposal seems solid, the alliance is unexpected. Last month, Mozilla and markup launched a pilot study to see how Meta/Facebook used web tracking pixels to track web activity. The purpose of the study, according to Mozilla, was to “report where Facebook tracks you and what kind of data they collect.” In recent years, the Mozilla-Markup group has campaigned against Facebook on several occasions, and less than a year ago it began running ads on Meta’s platforms criticizing Facebook’s creepy ad targeting capabilities. business. Unlike almost all other collaboration announcements released by Mozilla, the partnership with Meta has not been posted on the official Firefox or Mozilla Twitter accounts. Only a low-key announcement was posted on the Firefox subreddit.

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