Project Meridio

Today’s media business model has not been designed for the open web. The web was designed to propagate information across a decentralized network; conversely, media business models depend on aggregating audiences to particular locations in the network - a fundamental misalignment with open web architecture. Technologies such as Search, Social and Ad Tech, have enabled digital platforms to scale, but have also contributed to new challenges, including the emergence of audience monopolies, increased manipulation of the media by malevolent actors, and the degradation of citizen privacy.

To compete effectively in the digital economy, publishers need a new method for managing and leveraging user data that not only improves economics and increases internal data intel capabilities, but also reduces reliance on external 3rd party data providers. A standard for user data is required to provide economy of scale across numerous independent providers of content in a way that can level the playing field with larger companies.

For a sustainable digital economy, any new approach must be based on consent between users and publishers to use personal data. Project Meridio, in association with the World Economic Forum, is focused on establishing this new paradigm for personal data that provides citizens with agency over their data while establishing and supporting independent publishers as the most valuable place for quality advertising and scaled user engagement.

The project focuses on improving the process of how user data is leveraged and managed across the open web by developing a solution to provide greater control to citizens and quality publishers over user data in the digital economy. Sponsored by the Mozilla Foundation and Craig Newmark Philanthropies, the project is composed of two parts:

  1. An open source initiative to develop and manage a new global standard schema for user data that streamlines related value chains and better empowers individuals. The open source project will initially define and maintain a standardized user data schema; this will serve as the structure for managing 1st party data gathered in the context of a trusted relationship between publisher and user.

  2. A non-profit global marketplace for publishers to trade permissioned user data with the overall objective of reducing reliance on 3rd party-sourced personal data that may not have been consented-to by citizens. The marketplace will serve as the environment for matching publishers as buyers to sellers of user data in a global clearinghouse.