Digital Advertising Alliance Releases Guidance on the Application of DAA Principles to Cross-Device Environments

Guidance Emphasizes Transparency and Control for Cross-Device Advertising Practices

WASHINGTON, D.C. – November 16, 2015 – The Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA) today released initial guidance to help companies apply the DAA’s Self-Regulatory Principles in the rapidly growing cross-device environment. The guidance makes clear that the transparency and choice obligations in the existing Principles apply to cross-device data practices, which are also subject to the DAA’s independent enforcement.

Today’s announcement helps explain how the Principles apply to browser- and app-based choices made by a consumer to data collected on that browser or device for use elsewhere. It also states that consumer choice applies to data collected elsewhere for use on that browser or device.

The DAA cross-device guidance, titled “Application of the DAA Principles of Transparency and Control to Data Used Across Devices,” will help participants in the digital advertising ecosystem better understand their obligations regarding cross-device data. It also ensures that a consistent self-regulatory framework is applied to the collection and use of such data across the multiple computers and mobile devices used by consumers.

“Consumers are racing into a multi-device world at a rapid pace, seamlessly multi-tasking on desktops, laptops, tablets and mobile phones in their digital activities,” said DAA Executive Director Lou Mastria. “This guidance helps companies understand how the DAA’s core Principles of notice and choice should be applied cross-device environments, and it will give consumers confidence that cross-device data practices will be fully disclosed and that the choices they make on each browser or device will be honored and independently enforced.”

The DAA cross-device guidance was drafted through an inclusive process that brought together many of the leading companies and associations in the digital advertising space, as well as consultation with other stakeholders. The DAA will continue to evaluate their implications for all participants in the digital advertising ecosystem, including the ways to provide notice and choice to consumers under the DAA Principles. This guidance represents an initial step in interpreting the DAA Principles in this space.

“Effective self-regulatory regimes must adapt to changing technologies and business practices, and the DAA has proven itself nimble in addressing the transformation in digital advertising driven by mobile and cross-device usage,” said DAA General Counsel Stu Ingis. “This cross-device guidance makes clear that the DAA Principles apply to cross-device data practices and gives consumers information and control over the use of data from each device they own.”

Adapting to changes in the digital space, the DAA has also issued guidance in recent years to address the growth of mobile usage (“Application of Self-Regulatory Principles to the Mobile Environment”) and multi-site data usage (“Self-Regulatory Principles for Multi-Site Data”).

Consumer use of multiple Internet devices continues to grow at a staggering pace. According to a recent survey (, 79% of consumers aged 18-64 use at least three devices a day, and the average household now owns 5.7 Internet-connected devices.

Industry reaction to the DAA’s cross-device guidance:

Nancy Hill, President and CEO, 4A's
"This announcement shows once again why robust self-regulatory regimes can be so effective and adaptable. The cross-device ecosystem has exploded in recent years, and – with this announcement – the DAA has moved quickly to ensure that the application of its Principles has kept pace with those new technologies.”

James Edmund Datri, President and CEO, American Advertising Federation
“The digital advertising industry is committed to providing consumers with robust information and choice over the interest-based advertising they receive, across new channels and devices. We are pleased that the DAA continues to demonstrate the value of its Self-Regulatory Principles to millions of consumers now using tablets, smartphones, and other devices.”

Bob Liodice, President and CEO, Association of National Advertisers
"Lasting consumer relationships with brands are built on trust, and the DAA program builds that trust by giving consumers information and control over the interest-based advertising they receive. We are very pleased the DAA program is keeping pace with changes in technology and consumer behavior.”

Thomas Benton, CEO, DMA
“Marketers move at a rapid pace to optimize their channels ahead of changes in technology, and with today’s announcement DAA continues to stay on the leading edge of modern marketing. Channel synchronization is critical for digital marketers communicating a consistent message with consumers across a variety of digital platforms. Today’s self-regulatory tools give marketers the ability to innovate for their businesses while continuing to provide choice for consumers. As a founding DAA member and leader in sustaining and advancing a self-regulatory framework, DMA is pleased to contribute to DAA’s efforts to provide transparency and control across all of today’s marketing channels.”

Randall Rothenberg, President and CEO, Interactive Advertising Bureau
"Online advertising is the engine that drives the free marketplace of content and services for consumers online, and the DAA’s self-regulatory efforts help consumers understand the choices and control they have over interest-based advertising. As consumer’s online behavior expands to include a range of new devices, the DAA’s cross-device guidance will give participants in the advertising ecosystem the framework they need to respect consumer choices.”

Leigh Freund, President and CEO, Network Advertising Initiative
“The NAI thanks the DAA for taking this important step, and looks forward to working closely with the DAA to implement guidance throughout the digital advertising industry.  In addition, NAI will continue working with its members to promote responsible data collection and use practices for interest-based advertising in a technology neutral manner which accommodates the emergence of new technologies such as cross-device.”

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