I recently caught up with Abe Mezrich, Senior Director, Marketing & Communications, at MediaWallah, a company in the identity resolution space whose suite of tools lets brands align, share, and protect standard and custom data across silos and with partners. Abe is a Didit alumnus and I wanted to get his take on identity resolution.
Identity resolution is hot right now, due to a number of pressing issues. Brands — and every entity handling sensitive consumer data — are under the regulatory microscope. Traditional cookie-based targeting and tracking technologies are becoming obsolete. The value of first-party data has gone up, but the big platforms — including Amazon — don’t share this data with marketers. The promise of identity resolution platforms is to give brands sufficient insights to continue to reach the audiences they care about without impinging on user privacy. It’s a tall order and a delicate balancing act.
Abe and I discuss the industry shift to first party data and also touch on “zero party data,” a subject we’ve covered in other recent interviews. We chat about the bad things that can happen when brands inadvertently reveal to consumers how much data they’ve gathered about them, how even sophisticated attempts to link IP addresses with actual humans can fail, and why accurate targeting data is especially vital in a B2B context.
Abe explains digital “fingerprinting” — the process of putting together enough clues to deduce facts about a given user without impinging on privacy. We then turn to the disturbing power asymmetries created when the big platforms, including Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Apple, effectively own the majority of first- and zero-party data, whereas web publishers and smaller brands are disadvantaged in terms of being able to access this kind of highly-valued data.