April 13, 2024

Alongside organised knowledge, hashing unlocks quite a few alternatives for advertisers to ‘shut the loop’ on their advertising however what precisely does it imply for knowledge to be ‘hashed’?

In a post-GDPR and more and more cookie-less world, advertisers and media house owners alike are on the hunt for different measurement and focusing on strategies. These new strategies usually embody the usage of ‘hashed knowledge’, however what precisely does it imply for knowledge to be ‘hashed’?

What’s Hashed Information?

When knowledge is ‘hashed’, it signifies that it has been handed via a system that produces a coded model of the unique inputs. This renders the info unreadable to applications or people, nonetheless, ensures the info remains to be usable for its supposed objective. 

Image to explain the 3 steps of how hashing algorithms work

What’s the distinction between encrypted and hashed knowledge?

You could have heard the time period ‘encrypted’ to explain knowledge; hashed knowledge is comparable, nonetheless encrypted knowledge could be returned to its authentic worth through the use of a decryption system. Hashing nonetheless just isn’t designed to be reversible; there isn’t an inherent technique to return hashed knowledge to its authentic state. 

Why do we’d like hashed knowledge?

Hashing is utilized in cases the place a set of knowledge may very well be thought of delicate. By hashing the info, ought to the system be hacked or the info be leaked, the recipient of the data will probably be left with a seemingly nonsensical sequence of letters and numbers versus the uncooked knowledge. For that reason, hashing is used to retailer passwords and usernames in databases – if the database had been to be hacked, storing the ‘hash’ fairly than the uncooked knowledge signifies that no delicate data will probably be accessible. 

Some features which typically require third-party cookies are being changed with ‘hashed’ options as third-party cookies are being phased out by all main browsers; different, cookieless technique of sharing knowledge means different means of knowledge safety are additionally vital. Past cookies, tighter restrictions concerning knowledge assortment, storage, and utilization following the arrival of GDPR make hashing a welcome answer to points concerning the safety of saved knowledge. 

What’s hashed knowledge used for?

Hashed knowledge is utilized in cases of sharing probably delicate data between completely different programs. For instance, advertisers utilizing Google’s Buyer Match function will add their buyer knowledge into the Google interface the place the info is then hashed. Which means that Google is storing your buyer knowledge in a protected and safe method ought to this data find yourself within the flawed arms. 

Image explaining what hashed data is used for in smaller steps

One other use for hashed knowledge is Google’s Enhanced Conversions function. Enhanced Conversions matches knowledge out of your conversion monitoring tags with that of Google accounts in an effort to document a conversion that in any other case might have gone unnoticed. The information used inside the Enhanced Conversion matching course of can embody title, electronic mail handle, dwelling handle, and telephone quantity; Enhanced Conversions makes use of a hashing algorithm known as SHA256 to make sure this personally identifiable data isn’t obtainable or weak to entry apart from the unique and supposed objective. 

Because of knowledge hashing algorithms, personally identifiable data (PII) could be safely and effectively shared the place vital to handle challenges resembling measurement and focusing on. With zero and first-party knowledge more and more taking heart stage within the digital advertising enviornment companies ought to guarantee associated knowledge is organized in a manner that permits extrapolation the place wanted. Alongside organized knowledge, hashing unlocks quite a few alternatives for advertisers to ‘shut the loop’ on their advertising.

Niki Grant

Niki Grant