Comcast Advanced Advertising Group has recently announced that it is developing a platform to allow companies securely sharing data with no need to apply to third parties. Called the Blockchain Insights Platform, this blockchain-powered tool will significantly facilitate the process of data sharing. The launch is scheduled for 2018.
“Today, when you try to create an addressable campaign, the only way to do it is to tap into different data pools,” said Marcien Jenckes, advertising president at Comcast Cable.
Nowadays, there are two ways of data sharing. The first one is via Experian, Acxiom or another trusted third party. The second one involves doing what Jenckes calls a “data-for-insights” trade with another company.
“Why you would put the most valuable thing in someone else’s hands is a hard argument to understand,” he said.
Comcast is working on the platform that will enable people sharing data without ever handing it over to a third party. The data will be segmented and locked into different vaults. You are the only one to decide who will have keys to access specific vaults.
If a partner wants to act against your auto-intenders and has your permission, it can use its key to find that specific data segment and send its marketing or ad tech stack into the vault to execute the campaign.
Thus, no data will ever leave as the blockchain technology will serve as a ledger recording the transactions. This data sharing process will definitely be faster and more secure.
“You never make anything available that you can’t, or that you don’t want to,” Jenckes said. “It’s always in your control, and that’s the most important thing.”
Jenckes proves that the Blockchain Insights Platform will be even more secure than a blind match.
“Someone could reverse-engineer your data if you do a blind match,” he said.
Once IP addresses accidentally slip through, the data buyer has all chances to associate them with other characteristics and steal the audience
Although the initial idea is worked out, there is still much work ahead. Currently, Comcast will be working with its initial participants – NBC Universal, Disney, Altice USA, Cox Communications, TF1 Group in France, Channel 4 in the UK and Mediaset Italia – within next months to define different use cases for their data and ways to apply those use cases.
“This is coming in 2018, and the things that are exciting about it are the names of the companies involved,” said Will Luttrell, co-founder and former CTO of Integral Ad Science, whose latest startup Curren-C uses blockchain tech. “It’s difficult sometimes to get past the slogans and lingoism in these releases to figure out what’s going on. And blockchain is a particularly complex technology, so it’s doubly an issue here.”
Blockchain is an intriguing technology having a great potential so no wonder such big names as IBM are deeply involved in its development and adoption.