There was an unexpected error authorizing you. Please try again.

The Data Transparency Standard (Data Label)

Last updated: January 15, 2024

To view the Audience Segment Metadata, please visit the IAB Tech Lab Tools Portal.

Why Now

Today, data buyers are making billions of dollars in media spend decisions based on audience segmentation data, but few tools enable marketers to learn “what’s inside” the data segments they buy.

This is why leading marketing and media trade groups developed a new Data Transparency standard that contains up to 20 new standardized disclosure fields. The standard is the product of a two year long collaboration on a “nutritional label” equivalent for audience data sets that discloses information that helps buyers determine audience data quality, including things like recency, provenance, segmentation criteria, and more.

Just like a Nutrition Label, the industry’s Data Transparency Label is intended to give every marketer, agency, data provider and publisher a clear view of the syndicated audience segments they use.

The Standard

The IAB Tech Lab Data Transparency standard establishes minimum disclosure requirements for audience data providers. It is intended for:

  • Providers that collect, segment, and market data as a standalone product
  • Providers that collect, segment, and market data as a coupled / bundled offering along with media
  • Data marketplaces that broker data between buyers and sellers and represent the “point of purchase”

These disclosure requirements are intended to establish a baseline level of transparency for data buyers about aspects of data collection, processing, and modeling that inform data quality and applicability, regardless of buyer use case. These standards are not intended to provide a qualitative grade as to the efficacy (“this segment performs well”) or quality (“this segment is highly accurate) of the data in question, but simply surface baseline information that buyers can use to make informed decisions regardless of their data use case.

To review the required field details, formatting requirements, please see:

The Compliance Program

IAB Tech Lab’s compliance program is available to any organization that offers data – whether syndicated separately or bundled alongside with media – and is also open to adoption by data marketplaces where data is bought and sold. Those organizations that complete the compliance program affirm their full commitment to the highest standards of audience data transparency.

Completion of the program requires an annual business audit to confirm that the information provided within the labelling is reliable, that the organization has the necessary systems, processes, and personnel in place to sustain consistent label completion at scale, and that a label can be produced for all in-market segments available. Engagements typically range between 2-5 months, depending upon the size and complexity of the company’s business. Upon completion, an organization will:

  • Be issued an IAB Tech Lab compliance seal confirming their adherence to transparency principles and best practices.
  • Have their labelling data populated alongside other compliant data within a centralized Tech Lab operated search and discovery tool within the IAB Tech Lab Transparency Center. This will take place either via integrations with participating data marketplaces, or direct upload if the provider doesn’t work with a participating marketplace. Note, this repository is only intended for Tech Lab members and will only house descriptive segment labels instead of the segment IDs themselves (and thus can’t be used for platform activations).

For further information on compliance details and pricing, please review this requirements guide and schedule time with the Tech Lab team by completing this on-boarding questionnaire.

Find out more about Tech Lab compliance programs.