Gathering information about an online audience can be immensely valuable in targeting ad campaigns at the most relevant groups, but who owns the data that is collected?

According to the Yahoo! Advertising Blog, this issue was discussed at the recent Ecosystem 2.0 conference organised by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB).

In a session moderated by Association of National Advertisers president and chief executive Bob Liodice, industry professionals heard that the dilemma for publishers is while sharing information with advertising platforms can weaken the customer bond, it also creates a "better environment" for their content to flourish.

Therefore, publishers, advertisers and providers of website marketing services need to work together to address issues of trust – within the industry and with consumers – to ensure data protected and uses in "agreed upon, mutually beneficial ways".

Ramsey McGrory, Yahoo! vice-president of US partnerships, told the session: "The power of advertising is good. Let’s not lose sight of the benefits of bringing marketers into the conversation."

The IAB represents firms that collectively sell 86 per cent of US online advertising.

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