Two weeks ago the advertising industry is steadily making plans for 2020, choosing contractors, dispensing budgets, including on innovative technologies. Peaceful work was interrupted by information “bomb”: the updated Android 10, supposedly, eliminates innovative technology “naroznikow” analysis of the audience, because the new operating system will feature randomization — substitute the real MAC address (the unique identifier privatively each device — approx. Sostav) of the mobile device a fake ID to protect personal data.

However, MAC addresses of mobile devices in Russia is not personal data, and who exactly is behind this or that ID, to learn is very difficult. The use of an Unallocated MAC addresses in Russia did not violate legislation, and advertising technology О2О based on the use of these MAC addresses, gives an incredible, fantastical effectiveness: advertisement is served to the people most effected on the street and then unobtrusively on the Internet. High performance of this technology, apparently, annoying market participants who do not have time for technical progress.

Experts of the advertising and IT industry dispelled the myth about the coming Wi-Fi-Apocalypse and explain why advertising technology using MAC addresses as efficient and promising.

Alexey Petrov, Director of development, CITY SCREEN:

Despite the fact that the collection of MAC addresses of Wi-Fi networks do not pose a serious threat to privacy (each if desired, have the option not to use Wi-Fi in public areas), the fight with Apple and Google over privacy is still underway and immediately in two areas: restricting access to MAC addresses of applications on the device and the randomization of the addresses in the search for Wi-Fi networks. However, not very successful. The fact that the MAC address is an important identifier in a network packet, and just take and limit the access to this information for applications impossible. Apple in this respect, more space: iOS is not used in industrial equipment, there is still 2013 was denied access through the official SDK to read MAC addresses. The restriction of this nature in the Android may lead to serious inconvenience to developers and users across the entire Android ecosystem, including in the segment of devices for business. Apparently, Google understand this, so they still have not banned access to the MAC addresses of the SDK in the same way as it did in iOS. All versions of Android, including version 10, have the opportunity of obtaining MAC addresses, although it should be noted that additional protection mechanisms appeared here, but not radical. Make sure this is not difficult: we made a simple app launched on Android last version and got the MAC address. The source code of this app is published on GitHub.

In terms of randomization of MAC in Android devices is still more prosaic. The randomization exists in Android for many years, with 5 or 6 versions, but not really working so far, and it is unlikely the new API will change something. Google can come up with many different useful and correct mechanisms, but if the vendors in China will not support them, then this option will not work. What we are seeing in recent years: chip manufacturers have Wi-Fi don’t bother to support randomization, so in many budget models of Android it seems like it is, but it is not working because Chinese vendor decided to save it.

Oh and don’t forget about the growing popularity in recent years, wearable devices with Bluetooth, for example, watches, and headphones. Bluetooth MAC addresses are no worse than MAC addresses Wi-Fi.

Viacheslav Ivakin, head of Data Out-Of-Home Agency Posterscope Russia:

See no compelling cause for concern. Analytics that operators of outdoor advertising is carried out on the basis of the collected MAC addresses, still no danger. First, the data collection in the natural process of “communication” of mobile phone and Wi-Fi router and it will work and the next, and then the mobile device will continue to share their ID. The same iOS is now quite clearly visible to operators. Another thing is that only some sites can recognize fully these ID’s in their system for the task of retargeting. Secondly, you will need at least two years to share new Android in the total mass of smartphones has become substantial. And at our rate of technological learning in two years, I’m sure there will be many of the exact alternatives as to maintain and develop DATA products. Such a Toolkit “outdoor advertising” as “upward movement”, i.e. a measurement of the amount who saw the ads and came for shopping, also be fine to work on, as it does not require recognition of the ID from the advertising sites.

Pavel Vinogradov, Executive Director of the MAER GROUP:When we hear that the Android operating system 10 will leave operators of outdoor advertising without Wi-Fi Analytics, we understand that dealing with information spreading. The randomization of the MAC address appeared long ago: Google in 2015 from Apple in 2013. However, over time this technology has got only 6% of smartphones. Based on the response of the press service of Google on our request, we concluded that with the release of Android 10 the market situation will not change, because the device with the randomization of MAC addresses in certain circumstances still sent along with the fake and your real MAC address. And he successfully gets into our Wi-Fi”trap”. In any case, in Analytics, based on the collection of MAC addresses, taking into account all ID — real and fake. We are confident that the changes in Android will not be able to influence the work of operators of outdoor advertising Analytics audience based on the collection of MAC addresses.

Ivan Netsvetaev, project Manager DRON:

“Scary story”, which scared the advertising industry, fits in one sentence: “the Identification of the MAC address of a smartphone with Android operating system 10 will be temporarily hampered.” Emphasize the word “temporarily”, because the story of such an injection is not new: the same was the case with iOS version 12, which initially puzzled many professionals that did not allow to identify the device ID, but very soon came the iOS version 12.1, which took all the problems with the recognition of MAC addresses. In practice, after Android 10 the difficulty of operators of outdoor advertising in recognition of the white ID will result in longer, up to the day, the formation of a segment of the audience. Then this time could be reduced to two hours as the IT engineers will find new ways of filtering grey ID. The cause information of HYIP became obvious commercial background: mobile operators today are clearly losing this market Wi-Fi sniffers, which are precisely measure and analyze the flow of audience in outdoor advertising. For this struggle, it becomes evident that the market demand for accurate mediametrie, and more and more players offer their solutions for the development of the industry.

Lydia Markova, head of offline-media of the savings Bank:

Developing innovative marketing strategies, we saw how effective the technology О2О (offline-to-online), based on the collection of MAC addresses. Retargeting conducted on the formed in the web segment of the MAC addresses, enables us to achieve the desired target of action, and CTR* such advertising campaigns can reach 10%. We see the effectiveness of advertising campaigns using О2О technology, and we believe that they allow you to reach out to customers through advertising clutter, reduce advertising costs and ultimately to attract customers. The capacity of the market for such services is quite high, but the competition is growing every year. The scope of MAC addresses for advertising purposes is extremely extensive, every year we capture a few new technologies that can be called a breakthrough. I don’t see any problems at our partners with whom we work in this direction.

For publicity.

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