Adobe Receives Patent for Data Export Controls in Audience Manager
by Rakhi Patel
posted on 05-23-2018
As experienced marketers, managing go-to-market strategy comes naturally to most of us. We build programs that drive product awareness and adoption, and eventually revenue. Managing these programs on behalf of the Audience Manager team has been particularly rewarding. I’ve been lucky enough to have direct access to our engineers and product managers who tirelessly work to advance our industry with innovative enterprise-grade marketing solutions. This is the visionary group that understands that marketers can leverage AI to make their jobs easier, for example, by expanding audiences via algorithmic models. They realize that brands must market to people, not their devices. They also realize the need for marketers to create tools like profile merge rules to help with managing identity.
And every now and then, engineers build features that may not seem that buzzworthy, but are important for helping brands meet the commitments they’ve made to their end users and partners. I consider Data Export Controls to be one of those said features. Within Audience Manager, Data Export Controls prevent data management platform (DMP) users from sending audience data to destinations when this action violates data privacy or data use agreements.
Buzzworthy or not, it’s a different time in the AdTech and MarTech industry. Based on today’s landscape and the continued focus on consumer privacy rights, I am impressed that our technical teams have the integrity and foresight to develop with privacy in mind. Meet the technical team that created Data Export Controls and can now say they have a patent to their name.
I recently sat down with this esteemed group to learn what inspired their journey and how they went about designing Data Export Controls. In general, what I learned is that while there was need for brands to have access to integrated solutions, they believed there was also the responsibility to ensure that design was for an overarching strategy. Too often, design can be based to solve for a few tactical problems but may not solve for the big picture. Enterprise-level brands need more from their software investments, otherwise they would just be investing in point solutions.
Based on that philosophy, the Data Export Control feature was created so it could be applied to a variety of activation platforms, including those outside the Experience Cloud. This enabled flexibility at scale.
“We wanted to ensure that Adobe Experience Cloud customers could enable data to flow across these systems where appropriate from a use-case perspective, and block it when the source of the data had contractual or policy restrictions,” said Dave Weinstein, director of software development at Adobe. The need to govern data activation becomes even more relevant as a DMP practice becomes more mature and utilized by more than one team in an organization. Data Export Controls enable these teams to ensure that data is activated only where it should be. Plus, it’s a feature that is available to Audience Manager customers at no additional cost.
The team evaluated DMP-related use cases that enable audience activation across varied channels. According to Harleen Sahni, software development manager at Adobe, “We didn’t want to allow even one hole in how the system was built, since that would jeopardize our clients. It was a very iterative process.”
With the emergence of AI as a major element of innovation, the team also recognized early-on that while machines were doing the proactive work, humans still needed to keep an eye on how the data was used. Edward Schuchardt, group product manager for Audience Manager, said AI makes the need for programmatic guardrails on data usage even greater. “We were also focused on providing as much transparency into how and why the guardrails were kicking in so it wasn’t a black box,” he said.
With new regulation constantly coming into play, such as GDPR, it’s even more impressive that our engineers and technical teams had the vision to build cool features while continuing to innovate with privacy in mind as the forefront, not as an afterthought.
Congrats team. Thanks for building cool technology that’s not only fun to market, but makes me proud as well.