The push by some of the world’s biggest ad-techs including PubMatic and The Trade Desk to build an open identity standard on the internet will accelerate later this year. Their goal is to undercut the advantage that walled gardens like Facebook and Google derive from knowing the actual identity of the consumer from registration data.

PubMatic CEO Rajeev Goel confirmed as much in an interview with Which-50 earlier this week, and then later in comments to delegates at the inaugural Advertising Week conference in Sydney.

According to Goel, “I think the biggest advantage that the Googles and Facebooks of the world have is really around understanding the identity of the consumer. They obviously have had that advantage for quite some time given how you interact with their services.”

Goel confirmed that PubMatic is working with The Trade Desk, LiveRamp and others to invest in a federation of solutions to identify users across mobile apps and the web. (He stressed the need for this to be done in a privacy-centric manner.)

“We, along with several other technology companies are working on creating an open standard for identity. We’ll have a lot to announce on that front over the course of this year,” he said.

Goel told Which-50 that there is already a lot of the necessary plumbing in place.

“When we look at the challenge, we obviously don’t have the level of market share that Google or Facebook has, but if you combine all the independent companies together and the publishers and brands, then yes collectively we actually have similar, even larger, scale than the walled gardens.”

According to the PubMatic chief, “The challenge has been how to share information and share data for collective good across all these different constituents. But there’s now a number of solutions that are coming the market.”

It is critical for advertisers to be able to target the people they want to target in a seamless way, he said. Facebook and Google have made it very easy for advertisers to do that at scale but that has also brought scandals upon both companies, he cautioned. Those scandals have reminded brands why they bought advertising from publishers in the past.

“Advertisers are rediscovering what publishers have known all along, which is the value of placing an ad next to professionally curated content, fact checked stories, [seen by] humans not bots,” Goel said.

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