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Mozilla and Facebook are working together to build private ad tracking tools

By Sanuj Bhatia February 12, 2022, 9:00 am
Mozilla and Facebook Source: Pocketnow

In the past, Mozilla, the developer of the widely popular web browser Firefox, has criticized Facebook for the disastrous record of its privacy and security issues. However, the tables have turned now. According to a blog post, Mozilla and Meta (formerly known as Facebook) are now working together to build privacy-focused ad tracking tools.

Ad tracking has always been an issue for Facebook ever since Apple released its App Tracking Transparency. The company has not been able to target personalized ads to iPhone users since the feature's launch. Even Google is said to be working on a solution for privacy-focused ad targeting. Facebook also announced during its earnings call that it is working to rebuild its ad infrastructure.

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It seems that the company has joined hands with Mozilla to do so. Mozilla, in a blog post, wrote, "For the last few months we have been working with a team from Meta (formerly Facebook) on a new proposal that aims to enable conversion measurement – or attribution – for advertising called Interoperable Private Attribution, or IPA.”

facebook mozilla ad tracking tech Source: Mozilla

The upcoming ad tracking tech will allow advertisers to measure the success rate of their online ads while maintaining privacy. How the tech works is that instead of reporting every click on the ad, IPA aggregates reports for batches of events. The websites can then create a “match key” that is accessible only by the browser to avoid fingerprinting. The tech makes it difficult for companies and advertisers to collect data about ad interaction.

Cross-device and cross-browser attribution options in IPA enable new and more robust attribution capabilities, while maintaining privacy. The IPA proposal aims to ensure that all sites benefit from these features with the match key concept, which allows smaller players to access the greater reach of entities to cross-device attribution.

Interestingly, none of Facebook and Mozilla have announced the partnership officially on social media. It's probably because of their history, but the post has been spotted by netizens and they've been trolling the two companies ever since.

At last, Mozilla says on their website that the technology is still a work in progress. There's no word on when the tech will be available. But, for the tech to work, both Apple and Google will have to implement IPA in their web browser which might be tough for both Facebook and Mozilla. And with Google working on building its own privacy-focused ad tracking tech, things are looking bleak for Mozilla.

"IPA is promising, but it is still a work in progress. We are still improving it and so welcome feedback on this idea and invite people to contribute to the discussion in PATCG. We hope this contribution will help make privacy-preserving attribution a reality."

Source: Mozilla Blog

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