Adjust has already distinguished itself as a leader in the charge against mobile advertising fraud. Today, the Berlin-based mobile measurement company is unveiling a new weapon in its war on fraud.

And Adjust wants its tool — Click Validation Through Proof of Impression — to become the new standard in mobile fraud prevention.

With fraud estimated to represent in excess of $50 billion by 2025, Adjust’s new standard is designed to give marketers greater clarity around ad clicks and bring more transparency to the sector. Along with the announcement of the new standard, the company released a white paper explaining its reasoning and solutions.

Leading networks — including AdColony, AppLift, Aarki, Chartboost, InMobi, ironSource, Liftoff, Vungle, and programmatic in-house software Kayzen — have already begun implementing the new standard.

Click validation through proof of impression

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

Image Credit: Michael O'Donnell/VentureBeat

Adjust’s new standard for click validation encourages ad networks to send impression data with a unique identifier that corresponds with resulting clicks from users. Over this year, it will become a core requirement for all network members of the Coalition Against Ad Fraud (CAAF), an industry-wide alliance founded by Adjust to tackle mobile ad fraud. Other industry players are also invited to do adopt the standard.

Requesting an impression before a click will make it possible to check whether a matching engagement was made by the same device — leading to more accurate attribution and less wasted ad spend. The new standard will first be piloted with select clients already using Adjust’s Fraud Prevention Suite.

“This new Click Validation industry standard raises the bar for fraudsters, making fraud far less lucrative,” explained Paul  Müller, cofounder and chief technology officer at Adjust, in a statement. “This step toward transparency is long overdue, and we invite all ad networks and attribution providers to adopt this new improved standard as soon as possible. Only by working together will we be able to get rid of ad fraud for good.”

The validation requirement dramatically increases the workload for fraudsters seeking to steal ad dollars from brands and advertisers, particularly through the most prevalent methods of ad fraud in the market today: click injection and click spamming.

The latest in Adjust’s anti-fraud initiatives

The new fraud filter, along with the rest of Adjust’s fraud prevention initiatives, supports the company’s mission to bring education and transparency to the mobile marketing ecosystem.

“We’re excited to partner with Adjust on their Click Validation initiative and look forward to continuing the push-back against malicious actors,” said Vikas Gulati, head of performance at AdColony, in a statement. “As members of the CAAF, we’re committed to combating fraud in all its guises, and through our partnership with Adjust, Click Validation is another important tool for AdColony platform partners and advertisers.”

In December 2018, Adjust acquired data aggregation platform Acquired.io. One month later, Adjust acquired the award-winning cybersecurity and AI startup Unbotify.

“We are excited to see how Adjust is making steps toward better tracking, traffic quality, and overall industry health,” said Pepe Agell, chief strategy officer at Chartboost, in a statement. “The new click validation system allows supply sources like Chartboost to ensure that Adjust can reference clicks to actual impressions. This initiative will help high-quality sources stand out from fraudsters that are using click injection to game attribution. As a publisher-direct SDK, Chartboost is fully supportive of this initiative.”