Thought Leadership

Pragmatic Programmatic: Ads.cert

July 17, 2019
By Rubicon Project

Pragmatic Programmatic is a video series where our experts aim to distill the complex areas of programmatic and digital advertising into something more pragmatic. In this installment, Hrishi Deodhar, Lead Solutions Engineer, delineates the evolution of ads.cert from ads.txt and how it will affect programmatic trading.


Hi, I’m Rishi. I’m a Lead Solutions Engineer at the Rubicon Project and I’m here to talk about Ads.cert. First let’s look at its evolution. Before ads.cert came ads.txt, the initial step towards a more transparent ecosystem. It required publishers to post an authorized whitelist of sellers which allowed buyers to confidently buy publisher inventory without worrying about its source. Ads.cert is the new standard that has been created by IAB that complements ads.txt. It goes a step further and authenticates the integrity of the data being transacted between the buyer and the seller. It does this by encrypting the actual bit request as it goes through the ad tech supply chain. It’s akin to a digital signature that allows both sellers and buyers to know that the data being transacted is not compromised in any way. To understand the importance of ads.cert, it helps to look at it from a data perspective. Data points such as user IP, device, location, increase the value of the impression. For buyers, this is important to further verify the authenticity of the impression, as well as judge its true value. For sellers, on the other hand, uncompromised data points help maintain their trust and reputation in the industry. So, in conclusion, it is important for buyers and sellers alike to support the as.cert regulation, which is scheduled to release in early 2019, to continue building trust through transparency.


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