Prepare Yourself Now to Navigate the Future of Secure Data Sharing

Balancing the challenges of doing more with data while protecting consumer privacy

Marketers are being thrust into a new era defined by first-party data and identity—an era that requires maximum (and maximally secure) portability of online and offline, known and unknown, channels. Marketers need a way to orchestrate any form of data or identity at any endpoint, all while protecting user privacy and ensuring proper handling of their information.

At the same time, the business of orchestrating data requires marketers to prioritize security as never before. Consumer privacy legislation, like GDPR and CCPA, reflect a true shift in attitudes about data. Consumers want more control, more transparency and more tangible value in exchange for their information.

These new regulations place new liabilities and demands on marketers’ control and governance of first-party data, as well. The more the data flows, and the more parties that are involved, the greater risk a marketer takes. Relying on multiple partners and solutions to orchestrate data between different systems leaves marketers exposed at every handoff.

Marketers are trying to balance two often competing challenges: on the one hand, they must do more with first-party data to stay competitive, and on the other hand they must perform all their data operations more securely and transparently. And they also need to perform those operations faster than ever; manually sharing data with third parties also takes time, which represents its own cost in an era of rapid changes to consumer habits and preferences.

A number of solutions are emerging to help marketers solve that problem and balance those priorities. Here are four ways marketers can share their data securely.

API integrations

These are the primary means by which brands share data today. Most of the open ecosystem is tied together via such relationships, which are brokered directly between two companies. These pathways are proven to work, but the need to manually implement each one takes time and effort and can become incredibly complex for marketers to manage many at once.

Sandboxes, clean rooms and bunkers

There has been a surge of investment in creating secure environments for data matching that don’t expose data to third parties. Known as sandboxes, or clean rooms or bunkers, they all tackle the problem of data sharing by providing a neutral and secure space for companies to share and match data without passing the data directly to their partners.


Companies like Karlsgate have taken a new approach to securely sharing data using pseudonymized tokens to match two data sets without sharing or exposing personally identifiable information (PII). Tokens and crypto technology represent a promising new front in efforts to provide a new framework for secure data sharing.

Data behind the firewall

Adstra has introduced the Portable Data Module, a new technology that enables brands to leverage modular data assets and identity resolution capabilities safely behind their own firewall, eliminating the risks that come with sending PII to third parties. Rather than rely on API integrations, clean rooms or tokens, the Portable Data Bureau affords brands the option of performing every action within their own environment. There’s no PII to send. Contracting is quick and simple, clients maintain full control of the data and full transparency into its applications.  Risks diminish, speed to execute increases and complexity drops.

You decide the risk

Each of these solutions represents a different, viable approach to solving the problem of secure, fast and seamless data sharing. Marketers deserve to choose the right technology and risk profile for their own needs, from contracting with third parties all the way through operating entirely behind their own firewall.

Curt Blattner is an industry-leading digital/database advertising executive with experience driving sales and growth for Fortune 500 companies, as well as successful startups leading to IPO and acquisition. Having led successful sales teams at Oracle and Merkle, Curt has joined Adstra as the VP of channel partners.