Digital Advertising Alliance announces tools for online advertising control

The American Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA) has announced it is working on providing tools to allow US-based internet users to opt out of being tracked in online behavioral advertising (OBA). The DAA expects that within nine months users will be able to control OBA tracking via HTTP headers sent by their web browser. Read more from Apahia”s guest blogger Jure Merčun after the jump.

 

Transparency, customer control and accountability

The DAA is an advertisement industry consortium, focusing on a self-regulatory program for OBA, with a  member base that covers more than 90% of US advertising agencies. It published the seven   in early 2009, based on the tenets proposed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), an independent agency of the United States government tasked with the promotion of consumer protection. The principles call for – among other  – transparency, customer control and accountability. Two of DAA”s members – the Council of Better Business Bureaus and the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) are responsible for monitoring and enforcing compliance.

 

Interactive icon next to advertisements

In 2010, the DAA published a program based on the principles, which, similar to the strategy proposed in the EU, introduced an interactive icon to be placed next to advertisements, indicating that data is being collected for OBA purposes. The program also requires consumers to be informed on how  data is being used. Furthermore, it allows users control over which data individual operators collect about them. The same functionality is now being worked on to be implemented within web browser settings.

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is also working on a do-not-track standard which is to be implemented in web browsers, to allow users to inform web pages that they do not wish to be tracked. While this is a separate initiative, substantial parts of their scopes overlap, which should lead to cooperation between both initiatives. Suggestions calling for a hybrid plan have already been published,, such casino online as the one http://www.phpaide.com/demos/ContactForm/ proposed by Yahoo”s Director of Privacy and Data Governance, Shane Wiley.

 

Step in the right direction

The DAA initiative has been  praised by the FTC, which said  that with it “America will move further down the road to protecting consumer privacy,“ but at the same time observing that “[they] still need to ensure that all companies that track users – not just advertisers – are at the table. To that end, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) [… ] gathered engineers, consumer groups, and participants across the broad technology industry to create a universal standard for Do Not Track.“

For now, the initiative is limited to OBA, and does not regulate the so-called “first party cookies”, which track users for “operational” reasons, such as remembering login credentials, language preferences, etc. Neither does it cover cases when a user requests personalization, such as by signing up for for a specific service.

The DAA initiative promises to be an important step in the right direction, especially when cooperating with the W3C. It appears that it will not stop there however, as the DAA is already working on extending the program beyond OBA (it has already published the principles for multi-site data, which extend the original OBA principles). It will also be interesting to see how this will affect other parts of the world, especially Europe.

 

Picture: Advertising option icon

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