Privacy by Design

How Audience Partners ensures anonymity
in the digital world

2016 is shaping up to be a huge year for elections as campaigns, party leaders and potential candidates have been preparing for months to inform potential voters about issues and candidates and persuade them to vote.

Unlike previous years, in the coming months, voters can expect to see a significant increase in digital advertising aimed at capturing their attention and ultimately their vote. Political campaigns and candidates are expected to spend more than $1 Billion in ads targeting voters on mobile devices, computers, and other hand held devices in 2016 (1).

Audience Partners is no stranger to political digital advertising as the company worked for thousands of political clients and campaigns since it was founded in 2008. Audience Partners’ client list is the who’s who of politics and consists of Presidential Candidates, Senators, Members of Congress, Governors, advocacy groups, and U.S. Government agencies.

With lots of digital campaign experience under its belt, Audience Partners has created a unique targeting solution using proprietary data, online data, and public records which allows Campaigns to reach the right voters with the right message at the right time across all four screens.

When advertising in politics, getting to registered voters is key and not always easy. With only 66% of the U.S. population registered to vote, there is a lot of wasted media spend through traditional advertising channels such as TV and radio. Targeted digital advertising allows ads to be more targeted against registered voters, and even more importantly, those voters that have the ability to change the outcome of an election.

Sourcing accurate voter data that can be used across all four screens is key to a successful digital campaign. To determine which voters are contacted using micro targeting techniques across all media, Campaigns start with voter registration files that use publicly available information from all 50 States. These files typically include a voter’s party affiliation, their voting frequency and the political geographies where they vote. Information gathered through these records is then used to identify audiences of voters to receive political messaging. This data has been used by direct mailers, telemarketers, and email marketing companies for decades to contact and message registered voters. On TV, Campaigns use data science to determine which TV shows voters watch and then they purchase advertising for their political ads on these channels during the most watched day parts.

Advertising and data technology companies help all advertisers find customers, raise brand awareness, and distribute information about new products and services. Privacy rules and best practices are discussed at length and (monitored) by participation in the Internet Advertising Bureau, an industry trade association whose members include all the top firms in our industry (http://www.iab.com/guidelines/?topic=compliance).

At Audience Partners we do this for candidates and causes. While we use some of the same technologies and best practices to precisely connect with voters through micro targeting in the online world, we go the extra mile via our Doubleblind Privacy® technology. We overcome the unique challenge of maintaining a voter’s anonymity, while accurately reaching the right groups of voters on the many digital devices that are now used to get news about politics and society. Our solution allows advertisers to serve ads to anonymous groups of voters who meet certain characteristics (such as registered Republican women who are between the ages of 25 and 34), rather than to specific individuals.

Audience Partners ensures that voter data is used responsibly and in a way that protects everyone’s identity and ensures anonymity. We have taken bold steps to embed privacy into our technology platform from the beginning, and we preserve anonymity through our patented and patent pending processes using our Doubleblind Privacy technology. Our Doubleblind Privacy platform incorporates Privacy by Design standards consistent with those recognized as the global privacy standard by the International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners (2).

So what does Doubleblind Privacy mean and how does it work?

Simply said, it is delivering the right message to the right destination (think laptop, computer, mobile phone, or TV) with a zero disclosure policy – meaning our technology acts as a “digital switchboard” getting the right message to the right person without ever having to disclose “who” the person is. Every ad is delivered to a registered voter who remains completely anonymous.

To use a real world example, think of this technology as the phone operator at a hotel. We’ve all called a friend in another room – you call the front desk, ask for your friend, and you’re connected – without ever learning their room number. It is the hotel’s policy to protect the guest’s information. Audience Partners’ Doubleblind Privacy architecture works on the same principles, connecting users with content in an anonymous way. It is an efficient and seamless way to guarantee the micro targeting accuracy without ever revealing the source or details of the targeted end user.

Audience Partners’ Doubleblind Privacy technology and anonymous ad targeting process strips out identifying voter information and replaces it with an anonymous code that can be used along with a voter’s profile for targeting. This allows advertisers to create a more relevant digital experience for voters while protecting their identity, and it offers a simpler, more unified way for Campaigns and candidates to consistently reach their target audience across all four screens.

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(1) Borrell Associates, 2015 – 2016 Political Advertising Outlook

(2) Read the Privacy by Design White Paper by clicking this link: https://www.privacybydesign.ca/index.php/paper/redesigning-ip-geolocation-privacy-by-design-and-online-targeted-advertising/. Click this link to read about the adoption of Privacy by Design as a global privacy standard: https://www.privacybydesign.ca/index.php/about-pbd/.