Martech Open Mic Data & Privacy

Are clean rooms the answer to data & privacy issues?

By Jade Halstead, Marketing manager



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November 16, 2022 | 8 min read

For The Drum's Data & Privacy Deep Dive, Jade Halstead (marketing manager, Honcho) helps marketers understand what data clean rooms are, how they work, and what their key benefits are for marketers.

A data clean room visualized

It's crucial that brands adopt a first-party data infrastructure as soon as possible - but how?

Data and privacy: two words that are likely to scare marketers in 2023.

Google’s impending kill off of the third-party cookie, along with data regulations and compliance laws, such as The Data Protection Act 2018 which is the UK’s implementation of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) are continuously making marketers' lives more difficult.

As Google owns 83% market share, brands will be affected by the third-party cookie phase-out, and those who don’t start implementing a first-party data infrastructure asap will be most affected.

Although brands should be future-proofing with first-party data collection and nurturing, clean rooms could be the answer to a lot of impending data and privacy issues.

What are data clean rooms?

Clean rooms are a smart piece of technology that enables secure data collaboration across brands. There are various platforms such as InfoSum and Habu. The software allows advertisers/brands to match user-level data without sharing any PII/raw data.

In a privacy-first world where data is becoming increasingly harder to collect, sharing/collaborating allows brands to increase the value of the data they hold.

Clean rooms are completely secure with no data being exposed due to it being held by tech providers, such as Infosum using decentralized processes.

Understanding the technology behind clean rooms

Infosum was the “world’s first decentralized data collaboration platform with the power to analyze and activate data at speed”. Brands such as Deliveroo, Sony, Boots and Tripadvisor are using Infosum’s data clean rooms to leverage and improve their data sets.

To improve their data sets, a brand will use a clean room provider such as InfoSum to host a data collaboration. The software will match and combine the data held by both parties. By doing this, an advertiser can gain a lot more insight into their audience and their behaviors which increases its value and worth.

Each brand/company has full control over permissions and can set what the other party can do with the data, such as how it is matched, analyzed and activated.

Enhanced data allows advertisers to create bespoke campaigns tailored to individual sets of data, rather than using broad data with a less strategic approach.

Here’s how the technology works.

Google has also just released their Publisher Advertiser Identity Reconciliation (PAIR) which is their clean room solution for advertisers using Display and Ads 360.

PAIR will support the collaboration of data across brands on platform rather than using an external software.


Benefits of data clean rooms

When two brands share and combine their data via a clean room, their data sets are enhanced, which gives them a better understanding of their consumers and their online behaviors. This helps marketers plan and execute better marketing campaigns.

By collaborating data strategically with a brand of similar audiences, you can close the gaps within your data sets.

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Here is an example of how Deliveroo and Channel 4 worked together, which resulted in Deliveroo sign-ups by 20%.

Using InfoSum, Deliveroo was able to match their data with Channel 4 viewers. They then created a lookalike audience of those people whilst removing all current Deliveroo users, then targeted high-value prospects with their ads.

Why do brands need data clean rooms?

To protect consumer data and privacy, plus meet all laws and legislation governing data, clean rooms provide a solution to brands' data struggles.

Currently, the marketing world is managing with the tools still available, however, this is set to change. Marketing should never be guesswork, it should be led with evidence and be tested and analyzed every step of the way.

Marketers need to think long-term when it comes to data, and the more in-depth the data brands hold, the better their marketing can be.

Brands should have already implemented a first-party data strategy ahead of the third-party cookie phase-out to prepare, and clean rooms will just further enhance the data they collect.

Before the third-party cookie phase-out, brands should also consider interviewing their customers to gain in-depth buyer insights that can contribute towards their first-party data infrastructure.

Key takeaways

  • Clean rooms are a GDPR compliant method of enhancing your first-party data
  • Enhanced first-party data enables brands to create ads with a more granular, detailed approach
  • Moving into a cookieless world, clean rooms should be part of a brands marketing strategy if they want high-performing advertising campaigns
Martech Open Mic Data & Privacy

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