There are many categorizations of Data Clean Rooms that currently exist:
One first categorization is that of walled gardens vs. independent providers:
- Walled Gardens are closed ecosystems, often provided by big-tech players such as Google and Facebook, that provide marketers with the ability to combine their first-party data with consumer data that lives within the walls of the partner’s environment. Google set off the spark of Data Clean Rooms with Ads Data Hub in 2017, Facebook has Advanced Analytics, and Amazon has its Marketing Cloud.
- The second category of Data Clean Rooms are independent providers. These players provide a neutral ground for parties wishing to collaborate on their first-party datasets with partners (such as a publisher and a brand). These parties come together to define the scope of the collaboration in a Data Clean Room environment.
Then there is another categorization based on the underlying technology leveraged by the Data Clean Room, the one along the dimension of security.
- There are the Data Clean Rooms providers that you “trust”, where you must trust the vendor’s platform and what they do with your and collaboration partner’s data. Walled Gardens among others fall into this category where users lack control and transparency over their data.
- Then there are the Data Clean Rooms that remove the need for trust among all parties, where data is encrypted at all times, even in use, and where computations can be verified, which removes the need to trust the vendor and the cloud provider. Decentriq is an example of such a platform leveraging Confidential Computing technology.
- Essentially, there are the Data Clean Room providers you “trust” based on legal piece of paper, and then there are the Data Clean Rooms you can trust because it can be proven by the technology. Only the latter enable the most compliant and future-proof use of first-party data, such as consentless activation.