First-Party Responsibilities

What is a “First Party”?

The Self-Regulatory Principles for Online Behavioral Advertising (“Principles”) apply broadly to the diverse entities that engage in online behavioral advertising (“OBA”), governing two major types of entities — First Parties and Third Parties — that work interdependently to deliver relevant advertising to specific computers or devices in ways that enrich the consumer online experience.

Under these Principles, a First Party is defined as an entity that is the owner of the website or has control over the website with which the consumer interacts and its affiliates.” In short, a first party is a website publisher or operator.

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Websites & Mobile Web


How Do the Principles Apply to First Parties?

You have identified yourself as a First Party, which means that you operate websites and/or exercise control over other affiliated sites. As an example, you may publish an online magazine or operate an online retail site.

NOTE: If your company engages in OBA on a non-affiliated website, then you may also be a Third Party and you should also comply with the sections of the Principles and the Implementation Guide directed to Third Parties engaged in those activities.

The Principles do not apply to the data collection and use practices you employ on your own site — for your own purposes — or on other sites over which you exercise direct control for your own or an affiliated site’s purposes.

If Third Parties, such as advertising networks, collect or use OBA data on your site, the Principles assign responsibilities for consumer transparency and control concerning OBA practices to those Third Parties (i.e., the entity collecting the data for OBA purposes is responsible for complying with this aspect of the Principles). However, Third Parties engaged in OBA activities on your site will in many instances require your agreement, and sometimes your direct cooperation, to comply. In addition, if Third Parties operating on your site do not provide enhanced notice as required by the Principles, then you should provide the notice.

To ensure compliance with the following requirements, it may be preferable for both First and Third Parties to provide notice that makes consumers aware that OBA is occurring on the website and provide consumers with a means to exercise choice regarding the collection and use of their data for OBA purposes. In addition, First Parties should obtain consumer consent before materially changing their OBA data collection and use policies.

Below is a more detailed explanation of each of these requirements.

1. Providing Consumer Transparency

As a First Party operating a website on which Third Parties collect and use data for OBA purposes, you share responsibility for ensuring that a clear, meaningful, and prominent link appears on any page on your website where OBA data is collected or used. This “enhanced notice link” should direct consumers to the proper disclosure notice required by the Principles.
Third Parties engaging in OBA activities on your site are encouraged to provide the enhanced notice link within or outside the OBA advertisement or in another prominent location agreed to by you.

If any Third Party does not provide enhanced notice on any page of your site where it is collecting or using OBA data, then you should display a clear, meaningful, and prominent enhanced notice link that directs consumers to a disclosure on your own Website that:

  • Links to where Third Parties engaging in OBA activities on your site have registered and are listed; or
  • Lists the Third Parties engaging in OBA activities at your site, including links to their own disclosures.

Any enhanced notice link provided by you should be distinct from the link to your own privacy policy.

If this disclosure is in your website privacy statement, your enhanced notice link should go directly to the relevant section of the statement where the disclosure is located.

Where a Third Party includes an appropriate link to its notice from a location in or around an advertisement or other permitted place on your web page, you have no further disclosure requirements under the Principles. However, to ensure compliance with the requirements it may be preferable for both First and Third Parties to provide the enhanced notice.

Finally, your Website should also indicate adherence to the Principles.

2. Changing OBA Data Collection/Use Policies

You should obtain consumer consent before making any material changes to your OBA data collection or use policies and practices. A material change might be a decision to use or share previously collected OBA data in a new way. A change that results in less collection or use of OBA data would not be considered material for purposes of the Principles. Consent requires an individual’s action in response to a clear, meaningful, and prominent notice.

About the DAA

The Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA) establishes and enforces responsible privacy practices across industry for relevant digital advertising, providing consumers with enhanced transparency and control through multifaceted principles that apply to Multi-Site Data and Cross-App Data gathered in either desktop or mobile environments. The DAA is an independent non-profit organization led by leading advertising and marketing trade associations.

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