LAS VEGAS — In 2023, “clean rooms” are getting plenty of attention in a media and advertising industry seeking ways to collaborate with data.

The tech lets partners work on connecting datasets – without sharing privacy-sensitive parts.

But, in this video interview with Beet.TV, Matt Spiegel, EVP, Media & Entertainment Vertical, TransUnion, says “clean room” is a “buzzword”.

Hot-topic tech

Spiegel says the software category is “one of the hottest topics out there” because “there’s a heightened sensitivity to how does data move around the industry”.

He says media addressability is driving a thirst to use data for targeting – but privacy imperatives mean a reluctance to actually move that data.

“So the more that we can collaborate with data without it moving, the better,” Spiegel tells Jon Watts, contributor to Beet.TV.

The real problem

But, while clean rooms are drawing interest for their ability to connect datasets, Spiegel thinks there is a huge problem with getting datasets with robust identities behind them in the first place.

“To do that data collaboration, there’s an identity resolution challenge under the hood,” he says.

“Often, if you want to scale matches of two different data sets, it’s not necessarily as easy as thinking ‘Matt’s in one database and Matt’s in the other and, cool, I’ve found him’.

“Sometimes, you’ve got disparate signals. Sometimes, the way the data is in one database is not as clean as the other.”

So Spiegel says the use case can actually start with creating audiences and segments to activate.

Identity challenge

TransUnion is the consumer data provider which has emerged to offer a range of audience identity data solutions in the media space.

Spiegel says the company offers a number of products that, arguably, approximate the functions of a “clean room” – but he frames the offering of  clean rooms specifically in the wider identity-resolution challenge.

“Our job is to make sure that our understanding of identity is as rich or robust as anybody,” he says. “I would argue, as I’ve said in different formats, identity resolution is way harder and way more complex than almost anyone appreciates.

“We can give you identity solutions from an infrastructure perspective to an onboarding perspective. We’ve got lots of tools for creating audiences and creating segments.

“We’re working on building more and more tools, both through partners and in partnering with guys like Habu and the ecosystem to create data collaboration tools that allow that to be exposed.”

You’re watching ‘Clean Rooms: Collaboration Goes Mainstream,’ a Beet.TV Leadership Series produced at CES 2023, presented by Habu. For more videos from this series, please visit this page. For all of our coverage from CES 2023, please click here.