Mozilla and Meta team up to develop ad engagement tracking specs, users oppose

In a press release on Tuesday, Mozilla announced that it has partnered with Meta (formerly Facebook) to propose an Interoperable Private Attribution (IPA) for ads, all of which are enabling conversion measurement/attribution.  The project aims to allow advertisers to measure the success of online advertising while being more privacy-conscious than existing online advertising.

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As explained in the draft proposal, the core concept is to replace ad reporting for each action with aggregate reporting of batches of events (for example, when you click on an ad, the browser sends data to an ad group).

Websites can create a “match key” linked to your account or device, which only the browser can access, avoiding fingerprints. There are also features designed to make it difficult for anyone, including the company or advertiser that collects the data, to identify the person interacting with the ad.

This is similar to the Prio technology Mozilla developed a few years ago to analyze how people use Firefox. While the proposal looks solid, the partnership is rather surprising. Mozilla just last month partnered with The Markup to start a pilot study to determine how Meta/Facebook uses tracking pixels across the web to record web activity.

Mozilla said the purpose of the study was to “report where Facebook is tracking you and what kind of information they’re collecting”. The group, which has also rallied against Meta several times in its recent history, began advertising on Meta’s platform less than a year ago calling for the company’s creepy ad targeting capabilities.

Unlike almost every other article published by the company, this blog post was not shared on Firefox or Mozilla’s official Twitter accounts. This has caused strong dissatisfaction among many users, but these criticisms are very limited at present, which may be due to the reason why Mozilla officially released the initiative in a low-key manner. But overall feedback so far is mostly negative.

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