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Adjust chief technology officer Paul Muller had a warning for attendees at our recent GamesBeat Summit 2017 event when it comes the future of user acquisition and attribution — or advertising to get users and figuring out where they are coming from.

Adjust helps mobile game and app developers figure out who among the ad networks is responsible for driving users to their app. Muller noted that “data is the new oil,” but clients are often giving away data rather than treating it as something really valuable.

For instance, Adjust found that the top 200 apps share their raw data for all users with 10 partners. Many apps even share revenue events, such as in-app purchases, with data networks.

“That’s a problem because many times you share your data with advertising networks that have a severe conflict of interest when managing your data,” Muller said. “Sure, they can monetize it for you.”

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But the networks can turn around and sell that data to the nearest competitor.

Above: Paul Muller, CTO of Adjust, worries that companies are giving away their data for free.

Image Credit: Michael O'Donnell/VentureBeat

Muller said big game companies wind up sharing data with relatively small networks.

What can you do about it? Check out Muller’s talk. He wants to give control back to the game and app companies using an “audience builder.” It allows a company to share audience information with Facebook without sending the revenue data. They can get a “look-alike audience” from big-spending users without identifying those users to other networks.

Muller is a cofounder of Berlin-based Adjust. He is in charge of building and scaling the company’s technologies. Previously, he was the CTO and managing director for Rapidrabbit and Muller & Wulff. At Rapidrabbit, which he started at the age of 23, he published 25 apps that generated more than 10 million downloads.

It was the second time that Muller spoke at our GamesBeat Summit event. Last year, he spoke about mobile ad fraud. That’s still a problem, as ad fraud still accounts for 10 percent of mobile downloads, Muller said.

Above: Adjust’s Paul Muller says ad fraud is a growing problem for mobile developers.

Image Credit: Michael O'Donnell/VentureBeat

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