This paper introduces Ibex, an advertising system that reduces the amount of data that is collected on users while still allowing advertisers to bid on real-time ad auctions and measure the effectiveness of their ad campaigns. Specifically, Ibex addresses an issue in recent proposals such as Google’s Privacy Sandbox Topics API in which browsers send information about topics that are of interest to a user to advertisers and demand-side platforms (DSPs). DSPs use this information to (1) determine how much to bid on the auction for a user who is interested in particular topics, and (2) measure how well their ad campaign does for a given audience (i.e., measure conversions). While Topics and related proposals reduce the amount of user information that is exposed, they still reveal user preferences. In Ibex, browsers send user information in an encrypted form that still allows DSPs and advertisers to measure conversions, compute aggregate statistics such as histograms about users and their interests, and obliviously bid on auctions without learning for whom they are bidding. Our implementation of Ibex shows that creating histograms is 1.7–2.5× more expensive for browsers than disclosing user information, and Ibex’s oblivious bidding protocol can finish auctions within 550 ms.more »
Untangling Header Bidding Lore
Header bidding (HB) is a relatively new online advertising technology that allows a content publisher to conduct a client-side (i.e., from within the end-user’s browser), real-time auction for selling ad slots on a web page. We developed a new browser extension for Chrome and Firefox to observe this in-browser auction process from the user’s perspective. We use real end-user measurements from 393,400 HB auctions to (a) quantify the ad revenue from HB auctions, (b) estimate latency overheads when integrating with ad exchanges and discuss their implications for ad revenue, and (c) break down the time spent in soliciting bids from ad exchanges into various factors and highlight areas for improvement. For the users in our study, we find that HB increases ad revenue for web sites by 28% compared to that in real-time bidding as reported in a prior work. We also find that the latency overheads in HB can be easily reduced or eliminated and outline a few solutions, and pitch the HB platform as an opportunity for privacy-preserving advertising.
- Publication Date:
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Journal Name:
- Passive and Active Measurement
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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