Today’s column is written by Joshua Lowcock, Executive Vice President and Chief Digital Officer at UM

Despite what you may have been led to believe, the real problem facing the digital industry is not ad fraud. The real problem is identity, compounded by the lack of quality and integrity put into verifying audience data.

If the industry put more effort into verifying identity and audience data, not only would ad fraud be less of a problem, but digital overall would achieve a better ROI.

Fraud exists in advertising for the same reason it exists anywhere: the failure to authenticate identity. Frank Abagnale, of “Catch Me If You Can” fame, started his criminal career by using false identities. Today, it’s even easier, according to Abagnale: “What I did in my youth is hundreds of times easier today. Technology breeds crime.”

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