UID 2.0 is an open-source and free ID framework designed to replace third-party cookies. It replaces the standard identifier of email with encrypted and hashed email addresses. The goal is to enhance transparency and preserve privacy while still allowing some level of targeted behavioral advertising.

In the following post, we cover why Unified ID 2.0 was created and if is expected to be the solution to the depreciation of cookies in 2021.

Why was Unified ID 2.0 created?

TradeDesk developed Unified ID 2.0 in response to the enhanced privacy protections sweeping the web which are chiefly being led by Google and Apple. These changes, including enhanced privacy protections across apps and browsers, are forcing marketers and publishers to look for advertising solutions. UID 2.0 is one of those solutions.

What are the key elements of UID 2.0?


  • Open source, free, and interoperable
  • Individual email addresses, normally a key identifier for marketers, will be hashed and encrypted. They will never be able to be converted back into email addresses once they are encrypted.
  • Grants greater transparency and simpler privacy controls to consumers, who can clearly understand and manage their preferences, with an ability to opt-out at any time.
  • The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) is the administrator governing it, with participants adhering to a code of conduct in addition to regular audits. PreBid, the independent trade organization, serving as the independent operator of the initiative.


Is UID 2.0 a viable alternative to cookies?

Think of it as an experiment. UID 2.0 is just one of many proposed solutions currently in play to help advertisers make up for the loss of granularity that comes from an increasingly privacy-focused web. Much of its potential success depends on publishers adopting it.

Big tech players present another challenge—they may not agree that UID 2.0 provides enough privacy protections and could leverage other solutions that might eclipse UID 2.0 in the future.

I’m a marketer. What should I do next?

For marketers, we recommend you ask your supply-side platforms/publishers if they are adopting UID 2.0, and if so, be sure to be testing it and baking it into your solutions.

Be sure to check out “The Future of the Web” to find out everything you need to know about the new restrictions, cookies, IDFA, first-party data, and all things privacy from our Tinuiti experts.

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