Digital Advertising Alliance Announces Major Update to Industry's AdChoices Opt-Out Program with WebChoices 2.0

WebChoices 2.0 Supports Opt-Outs for Emerging Non-Cookie Technologies Used for Targeted Ads; DAA Announces End-of-Year Deadline for Adoption

NEW YORK, NY -- June 12, 2024 -- The Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA) today announced the most significant update to the advertising industry’s AdChoices program for interest-based advertising (IBA) since the program was launched in October 2010. The new tools were previewed at the DAA Summit 2024 in New York City today to advertisers, publishers, agencies, and ad tech companies.

Through the update, the DAA will shift the technology platform for its participating companies from a cookie-based opt-out tool to a browser-based extension in WebChoices 2.0 that supports opt-outs across both cookies and emerging technologies, such as probabilistic IDs and hashed emails or phone numbers. The WebChoices 2.0 tool is compatible with most major browsers and – in future -- will enable users to express category preferences around topics of interest, in addition to company-specific and industry-wide opt-outs.

“Over the past 14 years, the AdChoices icon has become a trusted gateway for privacy information and control for millions of Americans,” said Lou Mastria, President & CEO of DAA. "As the advertising industry undergoes dramatic change, the DAA’s opt-out tools are keeping pace with those changes, so people can express their choices for both existing and new technologies used for advertising IDs. This choice tool will ensure Americans continue to have one-click access to information and choices about targeted ads directly from the ads themselves and on the apps or websites they visit."

Among the novel features and functionality of WebChoices 2.0 are:

  • A browser extension that stores consumers choices on most popular mobile and desktop browsers, including Chrome, Safari, Edge and Firefox.
  • Support for cookies and new ad technologies such as probabilistic IDs, IP targeting, and hashed emails or phone numbers, so user preferences can be expressed regardless of the underlying addressability approach.
  • The ability for users to express category-specific interest preferences about the ad topics they wish to see or limit.
  • Cross-industry integration so ad tech companies can read consumer choices and preferences in the extension at bid time and adjust their bid strategy accordingly.

Once testing is complete, the WebChoices extension will be available via the current opt-out flow, which will continue to be available through the iconic blue AdChoices icon, as well as through website footers for major brands and directly through the website. The update will not impact existing users who have expressed choices through the current opt-out in Chrome, as those cookie-based choices will continue to be honored until such cookies are deprecated or expire.

According to a DAA survey conducted in February 2024, most Americans say they recognize the AdChoices Icon (79%), find it useful (78%), think it is easy to understand (85%), and believe it increases trust in the advertisers that use it (72%).

The DAA also announced the timeline for companies to test and implement WebChoices 2.0. The tool is currently in beta testing, which is expected to conclude in Q3 2024 as it moves to general availability. All companies that currently use the DAA’s cookie-based tool are expected to integrate with WebChoices 2.0 by December 31, 2024. Companies will have a grace period of 180 days following that deadline before enforcement of consumer opt-out choices by the DAA’s accountability partners.

“This big step in consumer choice mirrors the ongoing and expected changes in the targeted ad ecosystem, as it future-proofs the technology used for consumer choices around responsible data-driven digital advertising,” said Michael Signorelli, Venable LLP Partner and Counsel for the DAA. “Going forward, companies and policymakers can be confident that the DAA’s choice platform will support any technology and policy changes that take place.”

“The reality is that consumers will continue to ask questions about ‘Why this ad?’ and ‘What can I do about it?’ regardless of changes in technologies and laws,” added Mastria. “The evergreen technology represented by WebChoices 2.0 will keep responsible actors of the digital advertising industry at the forefront of consumer choices as the media evolves.”

The DAA also offers an app-based choice tool, AppChoices, which is available for download on the App Store, Android Play, and Amazon Appstore.


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