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September 20, 2013

Protecting Consumer Choice with Persistent Opt-Outs

One question that frequently arises about the Digital Advertising Alliance Consumer Choice Page – the place where consumers can express individualized or program-wide choice about whether or not to receive interest-based ads – is how to “harden” these choices so that they persist even if consumers clear cookies on their computers.  The answer is to use another feature that’s been offered on our Consumer Choice Page since early 2012:  Protect My Choices.

The digital ad networks that serve ads on behalf of their client brands place cookies on users’ computers that enable user inferences and interests to enable a more relevant ad to be served to the consumer, as this video on our YourAdChoices.com site explains: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LbP8Ml5NssI&t=15s

The DAA’s Consumer Choice preferences program also relies on browser cookies to remember users’ opt out choices. Except what happens when a consumer accidentally or deliberately deletes his or her cookies?  Do the preferences then get deleted, too?

The answer is that these preferences do get deleted – but not if users install the “Protect My Choices” browser plug-ins for their particular browser: ...

September 17, 2013

DAA Leaves W3C Tracking Protection Working Group To Convene A New Process on Browser-Based Signals and Consumer Privacy

Today, the Digital Advertising Alliance chose to exit the World Wide Web Consortium’s (W3C) Tracking Protection Working Group (TPWG), after a two-year attempt to finalize “do not track” definitions and technical specifications for the Internet. Going forward, DAA will pursue its own forum to evaluate how browser-based signals can meaningfully address consumer privacy.

Our letter to W3C Chief Executive Officer Jeff Jaffe follows:

September 16, 2013

Jeff Jaffe, CEO
World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)

Re: DAA Participation in Tracking Protection Working Group (TPWG)

Dear Mr. Jaffe:

After serious consideration, the leadership of the Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA) has agreed that the DAA will withdraw from future participation in the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Tracking Protection Working Group (TPWG).  After more than two years of good-faith effort and having contributed significant resources, the DAA no longer believes that the TPWG is capable of fostering the development of a workable “do not track” (“dnt”) solution. As we depart W3C and TPWG, DAA will focus its resources on convening its own forum to evaluate how browser-based signals can be used meaningfully to address consumer privacy.

During more than two years since the W3C began its attempt at a dnt standard, the DAA has delivered real tools to millions of consumers. It has grown participation; enhanced transparency with more than a trillion ad...

August 29, 2013

Ad Industry Effectively Delivers Consumer Choice…While Others Seek Headlines or Power Grabs

At a time when users have more choice than ever over how and whether their information is used to provide them with relevant advertising, a recent story in The Wall Street Journal (“Taming the Spies of Web Advertising,” August 8, 2013, subscription required) borders on the absurd.

 

The White House and Federal Trade Commission have praised the online advertising industry’s self-regulatory model for its robustness and transparency. Web users see the Advertising Option  icon more than a trillion times every month; the program offers cookie-hardening protectors to prevent accidental deletion of opt-out cookies, it has expanded internationally to 30 countries, and just last month the program was expanded to cover mobile and in-app interest-based ads. Simply stated: We deliver transparency, choice and privacy protections, while others seek to make headlines, leave legacies or consolidate power.

 

The DAA Consumer Choices program – which works with any browser – also protects users’ choices with two independent enforcement mechanisms,...

August 23, 2013

The Economics of Digital & Interest-Based Ads Prove Value to Advertisers & Consumers

Interest-based ads – which largely rely on Web-browsing data to establish their relevance with an individual computer or mobile device user – have been “proving” themselves to advertisers and consumers in study after study in recent years.

Going back to 2010, in a McKinsey study conducted for the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) Europe – which incorporated a review of digital services financed by all types of online advertising in France, Germany, Russia, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States – a “consumer surplus” is well documented.   Such a surplus shows that households garner close to 40 Euros a month (US$55) in value from ad-financed Internet services. (This is value that would not be achieved were advertising not present to enable it.)

Since this study was published, more recent research also has confirmed the consumer surplus – and our own Digital Advertising Alliance-commissioned Zogby poll from April also shows consumer pragmatism and understanding of how digital advertising finances content that most Internet users value.

Additional research also shows:

  • Based on proprietary data provided by twelve major advertising networks, behaviorally-...
August 5, 2013

DAA in Advertising Age: ‘Keep Mozilla from Hijacking the Internet’

Today, the Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA) placed a full-page ad in Advertising Age highlighting the real-world negative consequences that it believes will result from plans by Mozilla – maker of the Firefox Web browser – to block third-party cookies for all of its users worldwide.

 

You can view the ad – titled “Keep Mozilla from Hijacking the Internet” – by clicking here.

 

As the ad explains, the DAA (and the largest media and marketing trade associations: 4A’s, AAF, ANA, DMA, IAB and NAI) thinks that Mozilla’s unilateral approach on cookie blocking threatens to destabilize commerce and the consumer experience on the Internet. Advertisers of all stripes want to reach the right audience, with the right message, at the right time. Used transparently and responsibly, cookies improve the relevancy of the online experience and ultimately generate the enhanced publisher revenue that supports a diverse consumer experience. The DAA believes that Mozilla’s approach would instead eliminate cookies that are essential to advertising technologies, turning Mozilla into “judge and jury” for business models on the Internet.

 

More importantly, to the extent that Mozilla’s approach is perceived as promoting user privacy, we know that consumers already have a robust mechanism for transparency and choice: the Digital Advertising Alliance and its Advertising Option Icon program. More than two...

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