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June 5, 2014

Testimony: DAA Program Assigns Heightened Protection to Location Data; Self-Regulation Can Adapt

The Digital Advertising Alliance recognizes that location data requires heightened safeguards in mobile environments if we are to maintain consumer trust in this fast-growing advertising medium. This is why the DAA Principles and our guidance for adherence on mobile platforms (which was released almost a year ago) require companies to obtain consent before collecting and transferring precise location data from individuals, and that users be able to revoke that consent at any time. The DAA program is a living example of how sensitive issues like location data can be addressed through a robust, enforceable self-regulatory framework while still allowing for innovation and the ad-funded support of content and services we all enjoy in the multi-screen world.

Essentially this was my message June 4, when I testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law – articulating marketers' proactive views on adopting and strengthening our code of conduct for location-based marketing purposes. A copy of our full written testimony is available here. In...

May 23, 2014

Set the Record: Consumer Attitudes (and Behavior) Toward Interest-Based Ads

Do consumers like interest-based advertising? In a word, yes.

Our own dedicated consumer surveys on this point, conducted independently by the respected research firm Zogby Analytics, bear this out. Once consumers see the value exchange inherent with interest-based ads, they largely understand and are supportive of it (our most recent survey, October 2013).

Our full disclosure of our survey questions is part of a culture of transparency built into the DAA Principles and program.

However, in the world of survey research, that disclosure is vital to credibility – which is why we are surprised that one recently published survey, critical of online advertising, was completely opaque in its methodology, that of Consumer Reports.

In our view, it's unfortunate that Consumer Reports has chosen to withhold its methodology and questions for this consumer survey, since those factors are critical in reading and fully understanding results.

The two Zogby Analytics surveys commissioned by the Digital Advertising Alliance to date, among other industry...

May 16, 2014

DAA Takes Self-Regulation Message for Interest-Based Ads to Senate

This week, I had the honor of sharing information about our program with the members of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, led by Sens. Carl Levin (D-MI) and John McCain (R-AZ), both in written and oral testimony on behalf of the Digital Advertising Alliance. Our written testimony is posted here.

The focus of the hearing was cybersecurity, malware and its impact on advertising – issues that concern both consumers and the ad business. I was joined on panel with Maneesha Mithal, associate director, division of privacy and identity protection, of the Federal Trade Commission.

Yet – as security and malware was the hearing focus – we truly believe it is necessary to provide the benefits of online advertising as an important context to recognize. While citing recent research from our own study this year, and that from the Data-Driven Marketing Institute, we also said:

“Because of advertising, consumers can access a wealth of online...


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November 18, 2013

Interest-Based Advertising – Getting a Whole Lot of Love (and Trust)

Two weeks ago, the Digital Advertising Alliance announced the results of a Zogby consumer research effort it commissioned which provided an opportunity to take the temperature regarding U.S. consumer attitudes about their Internet experiences, and their understanding of how advertising (and interest-based advertising) helps to finance the quantity, quality and diversity of content they experience there.

More than half of all Americans polled (51.3 percent) said they’d be more likely to click on an online ad that included an icon – like the Advertising Option icon – that allowed them to opt out of ad-related information collection.

Additionally, more than 73 percent of users polled said they’d feel more comfortable with interest-based ads if they knew they had access to the protections that the DAA currently provides (opt out, limitations on data collection, third-party enforcement), according to the survey, which polled 1,004 U.S. adults.

These are indeed confirming statistics – demonstrating consumers’ pragmatism toward advertising and the Internet.  Such findings are not Zogby’s alone.

Recently, DAA Partner...

November 6, 2013

On the Go: Europeans Gather Momentum in Global & Mobile Effort to Advance Interest-Based Advertising

Fresh off the recent announcement of the Digital Advertising Alliance of Canada taking shape with its self-regulation efforts on behalf of interest-based advertising (IBA), our colleagues in Europe held a multi-day workshop on IBA recently under the aegis of the European Advertising Standards Alliance (in which the European Interactive Digital Advertising Alliance or EDAA participates) and was joined by Advertising Standards Canada, which will enforce the DAAC’s Principles for IBA).  During the event, discussions took place among Self-Regulatory Organizations right across the European Union and European Economic Area about interest-based advertising, IBA in mobile environments, and...


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