Tru Optik to launch free CTV privacy tool for media owners and adtech partners

Andre Swanston, founder and chief executive at Tru Optik, addresses INFronts attendees

Tru Optik used its 2018 INFronts showcase to announce the launch of a free consumer privacy solution for OTT providers, adtech and video platforms, plus a device validation tool it will roll out from next month.

Called OptOut.tv (see video), the privacy tool can be added as an attachment to terms of service for consumers to opt out of having their data collected for targeted ads via connected TVs and over-the-top devices. OptOut.tv was initially launched in January, and made available to Tru Optik’s partners on a commercial basis. However, beginning next month it will be free for all TV networks, publishers, data partners plus adtech platforms, with the company noting that most consumers that visit the site actually do not exercise their right to opt out, instead many site visitors choose to verify their information to make the ads they see more relevant.

Andre Swanston, founder and chief executive at Tru Optik said OptOut.tv wasn’t created in response to the current data avalanche enveloping Facebook and Cambridge Analytica. He added: “We've been working closely with partners like Experian, Alliant and others for two years on how to have privacy [in connected TV], or how to do things in a privacy-compliant way across leveraging data across OTT. This isn't like a johnny-come lately privacy strategy for connected TV. I think that is a lot of things that allow for privacy compliance would be a value add and not something that people shy away from.”

Swanston detailed that the teams who worked on OptOut.tv decided to make the process for consumers to choose to give up their information as simple as possible, without the need for red-tape between service providers or publishing outlets. He said: “Typically, it'd be an enterprise solution and a paid contractual thing, with a back and forth where we’d charge for it. And that's a big to-do, so we've worked a lot to make it more simple and asked ourselves how it can just be simple, pre-approved language has added to your privacy policy terms of service or a script added to your connected tv apps were just from the remote consumer can choose to opt out.”

Referencing the high “opt-in” rates the company saw during the beta phase of OptOut.tv, he added: “It's fascinating that a lot of people are actually choosing to do that because they understand the value prop of better frequency capping or more relevant advertising.”

This tool, Swanston hoped, is something that the all facets of the media scene embrace. Tru Optik, two months previously, had locked down a partnership with ZypMedia and local broadcast network Sinclair on an OTT and connected TV deal that will sharpen its ability to address local viewership metrics for more targeted campaigns. The Tru Optik exec claimed more partnership announcements will come within the coming weeks.

Earlier in the evening, Swanston also disclosed that next month would also see the company roll out a device validation tool that will help media buyers targeting audiences on a household basis verify what device their ad was actually served on.

He further explained: “Because there’s no cookies, because there’s no device IDs, it makes it very difficult for people to understand measurement. So what we’re seeing is that in some cases somewhere like 10-15% of what people were buying and selling as connected TV, was, in fact, desktop and mobile … if I’m paying $10 or $15 CPM for desktop or mobile video, and something like $35 for connected TV – well then it damn well be an LG smart TV, and not an LG smartphone!”

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