When Google surprised some people in 2020 by announcing the impending (if oft-delayed) demise of tracking cookies from its Chrome browser, Melinda Han Williams was more than ready.
The chief data scientist of Dstillery already had a cookieless targeting solution in the market by January 2019.
Dstillery was once as focused on personal identifiable information (PII) as most other ad tech companies, Williams said: “In 2018 we started seeing the writing on the wall and thinking maybe this kind of data collection isn’t going to be around forever.”
Williams, a physicist by training, came to Dstillery in 2013 “because it was clear so much was happening” in ad tech and data science thanks to “the explosion in deep learning and machine learning,” she said.
The patented ID-free Custom AI targeting technology Williams developed occupies a “behavioral inventory” space that goes beyond contextual targeting without using personally identifiable information such as browsing histories. And it beats contextual targeting handily while coming close to Dstillery’s PII-based IDs in generating conversions, she said.