NBC Universal Data Leakage Saga Comes to an End, Thanks to Krux

Krux Data Sentry(™) now protects NBCU’s most valuable asset: Its audience data


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 page loads. Worse, opportunistic vendors skim the site of audience data to resell elsewhere.

In August 2011, NBC Universal (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.


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 from 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 strengthen contractual limitations.


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


NBC Universal is one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies, encompassing a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment television networks, television station groups, a motion picture company, and theme parks. It also owns a suite of leading Internet-based businesses that includes Fandango, Golf Now, Hulu, and seven premium news sites.

“We take these matters as seriously as anyone in the business. But without Krux, we’d have little insight into where corrective measures were needed, and absolutely no actionable data to evaluate partners, or to enforce some of the most basic terms of our contracts.” 
  - VP AD Ops, NBCU