The size and complexity of the advertising ecosystem mean there are always bad actors that advertisers and publishers can’t effectively track, and consumers are concerned about their personal data.
A recent study from the University of Georgia shows how blockchain technology can combat ad fraud and protect users from invasive and predatory advertising.
How blockchain works
Although it is an increasingly present topic in the digital environment, it is always good to present this context. Blockchain technology makes it possible to store information in blocks linked together by mathematical codes, which are unalterable and permanent.
In the case of digital advertising, blockchain makes it possible to record the data of users and of the advertising companies and brands involved in the advertising network, which facilitates transparency and traceability of possible fraud.
How blockchain can protect consumers
If you’re a consumer, you’ve probably experienced invasive and predatory advertising at some point. Digital ads can be a real pain, interrupting your browsing experience and feeling like an obnoxious invasion of your privacy.
Blockchain can help solve this problem by allowing consumers to control their exposure to ads. Using this technology, consumers can opt out of certain categories of ads and track how their data is used. This builds trust in advertising.
How blockchain can protect businesses
Lack of transparency and accountability are two of the biggest problems in digital advertising. Advertisers and publishers are unable to effectively track bad actors, which increases the risk of ad fraud. In addition, fraudsters can use bots to click on ads, draining advertisers’ budgets.
Blockchain can solve these problems by allowing advertisers and publishers to track the origin of ads and prevent advertising from fraudulent companies.
Potential Applications of Blockchain in digital advertising
Although some digital advertising companies already use blockchain to confirm the identity of advertisers or restrict access to user data, this is only done on a small scale. Large-scale implementation of blockchain-based advertising is still in the development stage but is expected to become a reality in the next few years.
Benefits of Blockchain in digital advertising
Blockchain can increase transparency and accountability in digital advertising, fostering trust in advertising. In addition, it can help consumers control their exposure to ads, thereby improving the user experience. On the other hand, it can also protect ad companies and brands from ad fraud and malicious bots.
The insights shared here on the future of blockchain come from previous work by Jooyoung Kim, professor of advertising in the Department of Advertising and Public Relations in the Grady School of Journalism and Mass Communication and director of the Cox International Center, along with Kyu Lee, associate professor in the UGA School of Computer Science and associate director of the Cybersecurity and Privacy Institute.
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