Cliqz launches MyOffrz, a GDPR-compliant digital advertising platform

Cliqz, a joint venture between Hubert Burda Media and Mozilla, has launched MyOffrz, a GDPR-compliant digital advertising platform, which it said it will use to monetize its free offerings, including the search engine, browser and anti-tracking technologies of the Cliqz and Ghostery brands. The ad platform will be run by its fully-owned subsidiary Cliqz MyOffrz.

In launching MyOffrz, the company noted that it works in a different way to most performance marketing. Rather than collecting user data and storing it on servers in a data centre, the user data remains in the possession and under the complete control of the users. No company, including MyOffrz has access to user data, since it is stored and processed client-side on the user’s PC. The MyOffrz software only recognizes purchase intentions locally, on the user’s device.

The MyOffrz tech is an integral part of the Cliqz browser and browser extensions for Windows, Mac, Android and iOS. It has access only locally on the device to websites visited and web searches and, if the user expressly permits this, to the approximate location. The company notes that this is data that accumulates in any browser anyway and is stored in the browser’s history. If the user clears the browser history or deletes the browser, the data disappears. Since no personally identifiable data is stored or processed on the server side, MyOffrz is GDPR-compliant and also future-proof with regard to the upcoming ePrivacy regulation.

With the support of the MyOffrz team, advertisers define trigger rules for the offers, which are made up of a variety of characteristics and actions. An algorithm combines data about search terms entered within the browser (e.g. in Google, Amazon or YouTube) with data about the surfing behaviour (regular visits to certain social communities, brand and content websites) to detect specific interests or immediate buying intentions. If the offers stored by the MyOffrz software in the browser match a defined interest, they are displayed in a variety of ad formats and placements, either in the Cliqz quick search engine, on the browser page or above a visited website.

“Shifting the targeting logic from the server side to the client side is a real paradigm shift,” said Cliqz founder and CEO, Jean-Paul Schmetz. “The data remains in the possession and under the control of users, yet targeting-based business models are still possible. With our innovation, we have proven that addressing consumers individually and respecting their privacy work together.

“MyOffrz as a proof-of-concept is a clear signal to politicians not to be deceived by those who claim that without the possession of data about users, business on the internet would not function. Google could, for example, easily offer browser-based performance marketing with Chrome or refrain from storing search entries if they only wanted to.”

The platform has been running in pilot form since August 2017. Pilot customers included MyToys, Toyota, Flaconi and Telekom, and agencies such as GroupM, Mediacom, , OMD, Omnicom, PHD and DentsuAegis.

“MyOffrz pilot campaigns showed that this new form of marketing is absolutely competitive in terms of performance with conventional offers,” said Cliqz MyOffrz managing director, Lukas Jakobs. “As the GDPR strengthens the duopoly between Google and Facebook even more, it is even more important to be able to contribute to more competition with our alternative offer.”