TikTok pilots new ad-targeting tech that offers improved data security

TikTok is trialling a new ad-targeting tool that reportedly offers improved data privacy protection.

PrivacyGo operates like a data clean room, where separate parties can input multiple sets of data and find commonalities without sharing the original source.

Why we care. If PrivacyGo works as expected, this tool will provide marketers with deeper insights into who their target audience is, enabling them to make more efficient data-led decisions to improve campaign performance. The technology will also enhance TikTok’s ad-targeting capabilities, helping brands to reach the right people as well as previously untapped audiences. If TikTok is able to achieve these goals while adhering to evolving data privacy regulations, advertisers’ trust and confidence in the platform will inevitably increase, which will likely lead to more ad spend.

How it works. PrivacyGo functions by implementing a type of cryptography known as multi-party computation, or MPC, reports Business Insider. This technology is able to identify common audiences between multiple sets of data, while ensuring none of the parties have access to it. The US Government uses a similar approach to review census data, according to TikTok, and so the platform is hoping this will reassure officials that its data privacy protection is sufficient.

Why now? TikTok is still under investigation by the CFIUS over data privacy concerns and allegations it has been leaking data to the Chinese government. If the platform is found to be violating any data privacy regulations, it faces a full ban in the US. With that in mind, it’s little wonder TikTok is exploring different methods to improve its data privacy capabilities.

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General roll out. TikTok is in the process of piloting this new technology with select marketers. Once it gets the green light, the company has said that it is planning to make it more broadly available in the not-too-distant future.

Deep dive. Read our article about the moment TikTok’s CEO Shou Zi Chew testified before Congress over data privacy concerns for more insight into why pressure is on the company to improve its data privacy security.

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About the author

Nicola Agius

Nicola Agius is Paid Media Editor of Search Engine Land after joining in 2023. She covers paid search, paid social, retail media and more. Prior to this, she was SEO Director at Jungle Creations (2020-2023), overseeing the company’s editorial strategy for multiple websites. She has over 15 years of experience in journalism and has previously worked at OK! Magazine (2010-2014), Mail Online (2014-2015), Mirror (2015-2017), Digital Spy (2017-2018) and The Sun (2018-2020). She also previously teamed up with SEO agency Blue Array to co-author Amazon bestselling book ‘Mastering In-House SEO’.

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