• April 17, 2015
  • By Leonard Klie, Editor, CRM magazine and SmartCustomerService.com

AdRoll Adopts HTTPS as a Standard

AdRoll, a maker of marketing and ad retargeting platforms, will begin encrypting all of its AdRoll online display ad inventory using HTTPS, an important step in protecting the privacy and security of all Internet users.

HTTPS, an encryption protocol, has widely been used for many years to secure e-commerce sites where financial information, especially credit card data, is exchanged. It is increasingly being used in other areas of the Web, according to Valentino Volonghi, chief technology officer at AdRoll.

Without proper security protocols like HTTPS, hackers can attach malicious code and other malware to ads to steal cookies or conduct phishing attacks, Volonghi explains.

The encryption, Volonghi points out, works behind the scenes and is supported by all the major Web browsers. It also complies with secure sockets layer (SSL) encryption and Payment Card Industry standards.

"There is no change to what the Web user sees," he adds. "All ads will be exactly the same. The difference is that no one else can read what the user is sending back to the server side. HTTPS gives the user the knowledge that whatever he is doing will be protected."

And because the encryption is handled by AdRoll, there is also no impact to advertisers using AdRoll or to their ads.

When buying online campaigns, it is important to make them widely available on the Web, Volonghi says. "HTTPS is making them more secure," he explains.

AdRoll has been working with Google and other partners to help advertisers maintain security while serving up their ads.

AdRoll, Volonghi says, is "happy to join Google in rallying the industry to create an ecosystem that benefits the advertiser and the consumer. We've spent years migrating all our inventory to HTTPS. This investment will help ensure secure and safer ad serving for AdRoll clients."

AdRoll currently counts as clients more than 20,000 active advertisers in 150 countries.

Google has taken the lead in ad security, eliminating insecure advertising from its properties, but Volonghi says every online ad will soon be affected.

"Luckily, our [advertisers] will be compliant without having to do anything on their part," he states.

"AdRoll has been a long-standing partner and one of the first to actively join Google in investing in a more secure advertising ecosystem," said Chip Hall, director of programmatic platform sales at Google, in a statement. "It is imperative that the industry works together to make HTTPS a reality everywhere, and we are happy to have partners like AdRoll join the effort to make ad experiences safe and secure."

"High-performance marketing campaigns are the backbone of the free Internet," Volonghi adds. "It would be a pity to lose the ability to display ads on the Web because of security issues."

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