A story about privacy in advertising—and it needn’t be a horror story

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Over the past two decades, a large online industry has been amassing astonishing amounts of personal data. Data about me. Data about you. Data about what you buy and what your interests are. About how to get your attention. 

A sophisticated network of apps, websites, social media tools, data brokers, ID matchers, and ad tech companies track you online and even offline, harvesting your personal information. Data is shared, aggregated, bought and sold. And this funds an information industry worth hundreds of billions of dollars each year. This happens every day. Sometimes without your knowledge or permission. 

Let me tell you a story. 

It’s a mundane story but has an important point, so bear with me. 

I wake up…I pick up my phone. I browse some news sites, flick through my socials and check London’s weather. I am now armed with information: news tells me the world is still spinning, social tells me cat memes are still a thing, even in 2022, and the weather app says it is a T-shirt and jeans day. 

My dog, is listless and hasn’t eaten. I check her symptoms online and hold off calling the vets. Later, I check how to get to a meeting in town. I browse and scroll as I travel by train and tube and so on and so on. Pretty much the last thing I do that night is—again—check my phone. And we all do it. Every day. I told you it was a mundane story! But, it is an everyday story, which is kind of the point. 

This is the dramatic part.

As I turn out the smartlights, any number of companies update their profiles with new information about me. I may not have interacted with them and may not know who they are but these companies now know the location of my family’s house, where I went, how I travelled, the news sites I read, the products I browsed, the ads I watched, the shops I visited, that my dog is unwell. They are buying and selling this information. 

Inevitably mistakes are made and there is some misattribution. There may even be some deliberate fraud. There is little transparency and little I can do about any of it. As I armed myself with information, so did they. 

It doesn’t have to be this way!

Our product—A-Type—provides all the insights needed to understand an audience, to market to them and to run an ad-funded business. But to do so without tracking, without harvesting data, without IDs, without linking back to individuals…without exposing any personal data. 

Why use A-Type and avoid exposing personal data? 

  • Is it because it is the right thing to do?—Certainly.
  • Is it because it is also a better solution that can make you more money?—Absolutely it is!

Consumers are getting more and more worried about privacy. And smart companies are picking up on this. Successful companies. Apple puts privacy front and centre in its consumer offer. Anyone with an iPhone will have seen this question: 

Will you allow this app to track your activity across other companies’ apps and websites? 

Of course, people are saying ‘no’—90% in fact—and ad-funded business have seen revenues drop significantly on iOS. Google and others are being forced to—sometimes reluctantly—follow suit.

Regulators are increasingly saying ‘no’ to these practices too. Both here in Europe and in the US.

Who is A-Type for?

A-Type, is for ad-funded digital businesses and businesses that grow faster by understanding their users better. We have solutions for mobile app, browser, CTV and smart speaker. 

If you have a website or an app, a radio station, or content on connected TVs, our value offer to you is this:

  • Firstly, our private-by-design approach is at least as effective as current solutions—there is no compromise or ‘ethics tax’
  • A-Type can address 100% of your audience—for example, we don’t trigger Apple’s privacy prompt and don’t use third-party cookies which means you can access 100% premium ad revenues
  • Our insights and notifications drive up user engagement—fuelling subscription revenues and driving up ad impressions alongside consumption
  • A-Type is highly resilient to fraud and misattribution—you know exactly where your insights come from
  • We can future-proof your ad revenues—protect them against tightening regulation and the privacy initiatives volunteered by the tech giants

A-Type is different

The key to the success of our product is its novel on-device approach. We don’t hold personal data centrally. We don’t trade or share it. All the clever stuff happens on the user’s device and personal data stays there…so it remains just that—personal.

I’m so proud of my team. We’ve cracked a seemingly impossible challenge: an ad-tech and mar-tech solution that is both more respectful of privacy and yet, at the same time, better at driving monetisation for clients.

And I’m also so excited about the impact our product has had on the industry already, receiving marquee industry recognition. Just last month we won the US National Association of Broadcasters’ Product of the Year Award. We count Comcast and Oxford University among our investors. Crucially, we are now partnering with some of the industry’s biggest names, including: Sky, Bauer Media, Comcast – Lift Labs and Tech Stars. And we’d love to add your company’s name to that list; to help you monetise more effectively while being firmly on the right side of the privacy challenge.

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