Decoding the new generation of privacy technologies

The digital advertising ecosystem is evolving as users demand more privacy, as regulations expand and mobile operating systems and browsers are updated to respond to this new environment.

Meta is developing new forms of digital advertising which are less reliant on third-party data, and instead use Privacy Enhancing Technologies (PETs). These PETs protect data in new ways and improve transparency and user control. Based in cryptography and mathematics, these technologies are highly technical and often misunderstood in the industry.

Craig Walker worked with Meta to develop communications tools to explain these PETs, giving advertisers, regulators and policy-makers an understanding of how they work to protect and increase data privacy.

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The project in numbers

3Communication tools developed

7Cryptographers consulted

12Weeks from design to launch

Capturing tales from the cryptographers

Working closely with the Meta team of data scientists and cryptographers, we designed separate digital explainers for three PETs: Multi-party Computation, In-device Learning and Differential Privacy. The narratives and content for each were built from the explanations, stories and experiences of the data scientists and cryptographers in sharing the work they do.


From storyboards, to stories

We worked closely with the Meta team to develop the PET explainers. In weekly workshops, we delved into the details of these technologies and then took a step back to see how we could explain it to non-technical audiences. The Meta PET team shared how they explain their work to friends and family, which uncovered powerful analogies and simplified language. Together, we iterated and refined storyboards and narratives until they were technically correct as well as compelling for an everyday reader.


Making complex technologies relevant

Not only did we need to make the technology easy to grasp and relay, it was important that they show their impact and value in relevant and relatable ways. We developed storylines and characters (based on Meta’s new illustration guidelines) to reflect the types of users and industries that would resonate with advertisers, regulators and policy-makers. This has gained traction from internal and external stakeholders alike, who have praised the work for its brevity and simplicity in explaining complex technologies.


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