Case Study

NBCUniversal Data Leakage Saga Comes to an End, Thanks to Krux


The Challenge

Third-party tags are unavoidable in digital advertising. Without them, ads can’t be served and revenue can’t be tracked and collected. Unfortunately, once a partner’s tags are ushered on to a site, they enjoy unfettered access to the site’s audience assets. In many cases, a publisher isn’t even aware of all the tags on its sites – though its readers may experience delays and slow page loads. Worse, opportunistic vendors skim the site of audience data to resell elsewhere.

NBCUniversal (NBCU) asked Krux to expose all third-party tags across its family of sites. The results of the exercise were alarming. Nearly 70% of all data collection was conducted by third parties that NBCU partners – not NBCU itself – ushered onto its pages. One leading data exchange had tags on nearly every page, and served as the gateway to 12 separate -- and potentially competitive -- data collectors. Another well-known analytics and network company ushered on 17 additional data collectors. The worst offender was a trading desk, which was responsible for ushering in widespread tag placement.

The Solution

NBCU was an early adopter of Krux Data Sentry, a solution that provides always-on monitoring of data collection activities, as well as deep insights into the business impact of data skimming and theft. To help publishers protect its audience, Data Sentry also provides a toolset that enables website operators to establish and enforce policies regarding third-party data collectors.

With Krux, NBCU can now:

  • Reign in unwanted data collection by distinguishing between third-party companies that need tags on its pages and those whose tags should be placed in a container tag.
  • Optimize data revenue by reviewing all third-party data sales and, where possible, replacing them with first-party audience segments sold via the direct sales channels.
  • Establish and enforce strict policies regarding pixels and data collection, as well as strengthening contractual limitations.

With a network as broad and diverse as NBCU, combined with the partnership complexity that comes from running the Universal Ad Platform, I sleep much better at night knowing we have Krux in our corner and a solution like Data Sentry protecting our most critical asset: our audience data.

The Results

  • 100% of NBCU data assets are fully protected.
  • 84% of unauthorized parties have been removed from site.


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