The Partnership for Responsible Addressable Media (PRAM) and The Trade Desk today announced that the source code base of Unified ID 2.0 (UID 2.0) has been open sourced through collaboration with the PRAM’s Technical Working Group run by IAB Tech Lab. This move represents an exciting and important step in the independent governing process outlined earlier this year for UID 2.0.
While the initial code for UID 2.0 was developed by The Trade Desk, it has been rapidly and widely adopted by a wide range of digital marketing industry leaders, to the extent that UID 2.0 is now an industry-wide movement. Indeed, UID 2.0 has been continuously iterated based on collaboration among these industry participants.
“The digital advertising ecosystem is navigating tectonic shifts in how addressability outcomes are achieved,” said Dennis Buchheim, CEO, IAB Tech Lab, which leads the PRAM Technical Working Groups. “The Trade Desk open-sourcing UID 2.0 for continued industry collaboration is an important step as we develop a portfolio of addressability, privacy, and accountability solutions. We’re looking forward to helping this open ecosystem evolve, while pushing towards new privacy norms. UID 2.0’s current design incorporates security, transparency, control, interoperability, and auditability, which fits well with our addressability work to date and sets a benchmark for solutions both open and proprietary.”
So, what does open source mean in the context of UID 2.0? And what will be the role of IAB Tech Lab?
Put simply, The Trade Desk has contributed the code base of UID 2.0 to IAB Tech Lab, who will make it available under BSD-2 License and incorporate ongoing UID 2.0 maintenance and development into its Privacy & Rearc Commit Group and Addressability Working Group. This means there is full transparency on the UID 2.0 code base — anyone can see and confirm the processes the code performs, as well as monitor and suggest changes to the code.
The UID 2.0 System generates alphanumeric identifiers (UID2s) created through a process of hashing and salting user-provided emails. The system runs through the interaction of various components and companies that join the UID 2.0 system, including advertisers, publishers, data providers, and advertising buying platforms (DSPs).
Details regarding both the components and the participant roles are captured in the UID 2.0 Documentation.
“This is an important step to fulfill the commitment announced by The Trade Desk earlier this year, as it formally turns over the UID 2.0 code to PRAM via IAB Tech Lab,” said Bill Tucker, Executive Director of the Partnership for Responsible Addressable Media (PRAM). “Moving forward, PRAM intends to quickly finalize its technical and policy standards for Addressable Media Identifiers (AMIs), so it can evaluate UID 2.0 as one potential PRAM-endorsed identifier solution, while the industry community collaborates on UID 2.0 source code development. PRAM also will continue to welcome other code/software submissions from the industry, as PRAM works to support a vibrant ecosystem of effective, industry-endorsed, privacy-protective, and consumer-friendly identifiers.”
UID 2.0 has gone from conception to widespread industry support in less than one year. UID 2.0 continues to evolve, and this open-source move will allow a wide range of industry participants to innovate on top of the core code.
"Prebid.org has been actively working to stand up infrastructure and services to support UID 2.0 and we are excited about the progress the community has made in the past few weeks," said Tom Kershaw, Chairman of Prebid.org. "We are particularly thrilled with the moves to turn the value and its administration into a truly open-source, community project. With product deployment becoming more and more a reality, we feel the industry is really starting to prepare for the end of third-party cookies and a sustainable, privacy-based future for digital advertising."
Thank you to all those who have participated in the UID 2.0 initiative. It’s humbling to see industry-wide collaboration and such innovative talent from all corners of the ecosystem.