SALISBURY, CT — In the last two years, data clean rooms have risen to prominence as a way for companies to continue connecting customer data sets while minding new privacy rules.

But the clean room hype also risks blinding some buyers to the reality that data collaboration is about a lot more than just clean rooms. That is according to Brian Lesser, chairman & CEO, InfoSum.

In this video interview with Mike Shields for Beet.TV, Lesser says: “Data collaboration is not a one-size-fits-all solution.”

Nuances in Data Collaboration

“Different technologies serve different purposes,” Lesser says.

He warns that while the term ‘data clean room’ helps to articulate what a particular piece of technology does, it also runs the risk of over-simplifying a complex industry.

“The danger of putting a box around a bunch of companies and calling them data clean room companies is that there are differences. There are differences between what’s a data store, what’s an analytics platform, what is meant to be privacy enhancing technology, what’s just a collaboration or reporting layer on top of different data stores,” Lesser explains.

He emphasizes that understanding these nuances is crucial to leveraging technology effectively.

InfoSum’s Solutions in Action

Customers use InfoSum’s tools for planning, activation, and measurement in the media world.

Lesser highlights how companies like ITV and Channel 4 utilize InfoSum to plan campaigns, activate, and measure them in coordination with their agency partners and advertisers.

“If I’m an advertiser and I know what audience I’m trying to reach inside of your marketplace or inside of your inventory, I don’t have to give that audience to a third party anymore,” Lesser says.

Standardization and Interoperability

Discussing the ongoing debate around clean room definitions, Lesser emphasizes the need for standards.

InfoSum has been actively involved in developing two different sets of standards – Google’s PAIR standard and the IAB’s standard for clean room interoperability.

“I don’t envision a marketplace where there are dozens and dozens of clean rooms all with their own methodologies. So standards are absolutely important,” Lesser says.

The Future of Data Collaboration

Lesser predicts that the future of data collaboration will be driven by privacy concerns and legislative changes.

Citing the influence of GDPR in Europe, he observes that European and UK-based publishers have had to be innovative in how they sell addressable advertising while respecting privacy.

He believes the US will follow suit, not only due to legislative pressure but also because CEOs and CMOs will take privacy more seriously. “It’s not long before we get a big CMO or CEO of a consumer products company who says, ‘We’re not going to allow our customer data into the ecosystem anymore’,” Lesser predicts.

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