We founded Evidon in 2009 to power compliance with the AdChoices program in the US. The original name of the company was The Better Advertising Project. That was the original, simple concept – make advertising better by giving consumers and businesses the data collection and use controls they needed. Since then, we’ve evolved into the industry standard for Digital Governance . While our focus and our services have grown a lot since then, the fundamental idea of empowering businesses and consumers to have the best online experience remains the same.
We bought the Ghostery browser extension in January 2010. That acquisition gave us the richest library of essential data about the Marketing Technology Ecosystem. Back then we had about 700 companies. Today it’s over 4,000 and growing all the time. The same goes for the problems we solve for businesses. Now that the Ghostery brand and consumer applications have become part of Cliqz , Evidon is solely focused on the needs of businesses in this complex and ever changing marketing technology landscape.
Evidon’s had a few name changes over the years that track our evolution – from Better Advertising to Evidon to Ghostery and now back again to Evidon. By 2011, we had established ourselves as the reference brand for Ad Choices compliance – a position we have expanded globally with support of 52 languages across mobile and desktop. In 2011-12, two things happened: First, the popularity of the Ghostery browser extension exploded; Second, the EU’s ePrivacy Directive, or “Cookie Law” was passed. This added a whole new set of compliance challenges that our clients needed us to solve for them. The Evidon name was created to connect our reach to be much broader than just “advertising”. In late 2011, we opened our London office and in early 2012, and launched Evidon Encompass™. Encompass was the first cloud-based, tagless solution to reveal hidden tracking across websites. Encompass, along with a more robust set of Consent Solutions (or as we call it “Site Notice”) quickly became the industry standard for compliance. It also revealed a whole new set of problems businesses asked us to solve.
By 2013, the Marketing Technology ecosystem had become an utter mess. 4,000+ companies chasing increased marketing spending. Programmatic advertising had become the norm. Each page load now had long chains of Martech companies bidding on a single ad impression, pulling in multiple data partners to try and perfect their bid. And all of this in real-time along with an ever growing set of technology to measure what was working, to customize the user experience and more. We started finding 70+ different pieces of marketing technology code on an average webpage. More importantly, we began to see that this ecosystem was doing more than just complicating privacy compliance. It was ruining the user experience and costing companies hundreds of millions! Web pages were slowing down, leaking data to competitors and creating security gaps in ways Marketing, IT and Privacy leaders had never imagined.
We rebranded the company as Ghostery Inc. in 2014 to better align the visibility we delivered for consumers with the more sophisticated solutions we provided to businesses. For the next few years, we focused on a new Digital Governance platform we called MCM, which stands for Marketing Cloud Management. The centerpiece of the platform is the TrackerMap®. TrackerMap is now the Rosetta Stone that unpacks the complex digital marketing supply chain in real time. Thousands of professionals at hundreds of companies globally rely on TrackerMap and MCM to drive ROI from their marketing technology investments.
On the compliance side, 2014-2016 was also a very busy time. We expanded our Consent Solutions to mobile apps and mobile web. We became a key provider to power the Digital Advertising Alliance’s App Choices mobile privacy solution. We also integrated MCM with our Consent Solutions to deliver automated Site Notice disclosures. In June, 2016, the US Patent & Trademark Office validated this innovation and hard work with US Patent 9,361,631 “Managing and monitoring digital advertising.”
Looking to the future, 2017 was the right time to pursue different paths for Evidon and Ghostery. The new Evidon, Inc. is focused entirely on simplifying the complex world of Digital Governance for businesses. As companies add more technology to maximize the return on their digital investment, building consumer trust has become ever more important. Fulfilling this promise requires organizations to have a comprehensive approach to govern data collection across their sites, apps and ads while complying with global regulations. That’s what we do every day and where we’ll continue to focus. We sold Ghostery (Ghostery browser extensions and mobile apps as well as the brand) to Cliqz. Cliqz, which is owned by Mozilla and Hubert Burda Media, offers privacy-focused browsers with an innovative quick-search functionality for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android and iOS.
Our Partnership with Ghostery & Cliqz
Evidon has a long-term partnership with Cliqz. Under Cliqz, the Ghostery browser extension and mobile apps will continue to use the Evidon database of over 4,000 companies around the world, to offer users visibilty about the companies behind the trackers. Conversly, Ghostery will provide Evidon and our Data Governance solution with aggregated data about the prevalence and behavior of trackers. Those data come from Ghostery users who opted in to the anonymous data collection.