Oracle is phasing out its offer of AddThis audience data in Europe, as a result of the post-GDPR regulatory environment.
Oracle bought the company for around $175 - 200m at the start of 2016, when its owners said it was tracking more than 1.9 billion monthly unique users worldwide. The Data Cloud used its data for insights and targeting purposes, alongside technology from two other acquisitions, Datalogix and BlueKai.
The service relies on third-party data collected without consent, and in Europe this can no longer be collected safely and practically, according to Oracle sources quoted on news site AdExchanger - contracts have been allowed to run down and have not been renewed. VP of Product Management Cecilia Mao told AdExchanger European publishers could still access AddThis tools, for free, but not with data originating from Europe. Oracle apparently decided that of the half dozen or so bases for collecting data set out in the GDPR rules, targeting of ads specifically required 'informed consent', which could not practically be sought in the AddThis model. Those using another basis, 'legitimate interest', to profile and target audiences, are 'putting themselves and their company at risk', according to ODC SVP and GM Eric Roza, speaking at AdExchanger's Industry Preview show in January.
The shutdown has reportedly left a hole in the data used for the firm's BlueKai exchange, and Oracle is seeking replacement sources for this, while focusing on 'other business lines, including measurement and contextual advertising' - the latter has seen triple-digit growth in Europe in the last few years. Oracle meanwhile is not looking to take risks for this relatively minor chunk of its global revenue - according to Roza: 'In Europe we took a much more conservative position than others, partly because Oracle needs to be more conservative - we're got a $180 billion market cap. We're not going to be the poster children for this'.
Thanks to www.adexchanger.com for much of the above.
All articles 2006-19 written and edited by Mel Crowther and/or Nick Thomas.