Digital Advertising Alliance Unveils Program to Provide Consumer Privacy Controls in Mobile Environments

New guidance for apps, location, and personal directory data usage hailed as imperative to transparency in mobile world by nation’s largest media and marketing associations

WASHINGTON – July 24, 2013 – The Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA), the operator of the interactive media and marketing industry’s largest and most successful consumer preference program, today unveiled new guidance for assuring that its Self-Regulatory Principles currently enforced on the web are honored in mobile environments, providing consumer-friendly privacy controls in this fast-growing medium. 

The new DAA guidance for the first time advises advertisers, agencies, media, and technology companies how to provide consumers the ability to see and exercise control over the use of cross-app, personal directory, and precise location data in mobile apps. This enforceable guidance reflects the reality that companies and brands engage with their customers on a variety of platforms, including mobile, and explains how the DAA’s program applies consistently across channels to certain data practices that may occur on mobile or other devices. A key provided benefit is enhanced consumer transparency for the collection of data across different mobile apps.  A full copy of the Mobile Guidance is posted here:

The guidance builds on the 2009 Self-Regulatory Principles for Online Behavioral Advertising and its 2011 Principles for Multi-site Data, which are the bases for the digital ad industry’s successful Advertising Option Icon initiative. This self-regulatory program – the largest and most comprehensive in the interactive advertising industry – is responsible for the ubiquitous Advertising Option Icon that is served on trillions of advertising impressions a year, signaling to consumers that various forms of online data are being collected and used to deliver them advertising tailored to their interests, and offering them a centralized system to opt out of the use of that data.

The DAA consumer notice and choice program has been praised by the Obama Administration, the Commerce Department and the Federal Trade Commission. The DAA’s mobile guidance released today aims to offer businesses policies and consumers assurances that the same notice and control consumers have in desktop Internet advertising environments will apply in the more complex, evolving world of the mobile Internet.

“Consumers love being mobile,” said DAA Managing Director Lou Mastria. “And they also understand that much of the enjoyment, convenience and information they receive in mobile environments are supported by advertising. Brands, too, are increasingly converging communications channels – making little distinction as to how customers interact with them. Our newly announced mobile guidance is intended to help brands, agencies, ad networks and mobile providers navigate data collection and use across mobile and other platforms according to our established self-regulatory principles – all backed by third-party enforcement.”

Added DAA General Counsel Stu Ingis: “The success we’ve achieved in the desktop browser ecosystem has proven the merits of this program. The recognition of the Advertising Option Icon has grown, consumers are learning about the value of the ad-supported ecosystem, and the economic engine that is digital advertising continues to innovate and provide jobs in a privacy-friendly manner. As more consumers go mobile with their devices, we are taking this successful program and reaching them there.”

“We believe this technology-neutral guidance will continue to enable relevant, ad-supported content to flourish while providing mobile users with consistent privacy mechanisms such as transparency, choice, de-identification, and limitations on data use, which have become commonplace on the desktop web with the DAA Icon program,” Ingis said.

The new guidance explains how to provide enhanced notice about data collected on a particular device over time and across different applications, as well as notice for the collection of precise location or personal directory data. It also applies the principle of consumer control to these data collection practices.

Additionally, the guidance applies to the mobile space protections for sensitive data collection, as well as the restriction on the use of covered data for eligibility purposes. The new guidance also makes clear that these data collection and use practices fall within the scope of the DAA’s existing accountability programs, enforced by the Council of Better Business Bureaus and the Direct Marketing Association.

The development of the mobile guidance has incorporated a nearly two-year effort among mobile marketing stakeholders, from brands to mobile providers. Today’s announcement begins an implementation phase.  During this phase, the guidance will not yet be in effect or enforced while industry education about the guidance is undertaken.

The DAA’s cross-industry self-regulatory initiative spans the entire marketing-media ecosystem. Collectively, the associations which make up the DAA represent more than 5,000 leading U.S. corporations across the full spectrum of businesses that have shaped today’s transformed media landscape to meet consumer demand for innovative products and services. International DAA programs are currently operating in more than 25 nations around the world.

About The DAA Self-Regulatory Program for Online Behavioral Advertising
The DAA Self-Regulatory Program ( for Online Behavioral Advertising was launched in 2010 by the Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA) (, a consortium of the nation's largest media and marketing associations including the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s), the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), the American Advertising Federation (AAF), the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and the Network Advertising Initiative (NAI). These associations and their thousands of members are committed to developing effective self-regulatory solutions to consumer choice for online data.

More on the Mobile Guidance from Founding DAA Participants

Nancy Hill, President and CEO, 4A’s

“Expanding the DAA program in the mobile environment proves that such a self-regulatory program can meet the ever-pressing challenge to evolve with new technologies. We felt that it was imperative that our members play a key role in such a pivotal effort to advance the art of advertising while bringing consumers more transparency and control in the mobile world.”

James Datri, President and CEO, AAF

“The advertising industry has long had the gold standard for industry self-regulation,” said AAF President James Edmund Datri.  “This move into the mobile environment demonstrates our commitment, once again, to consumer trust and protection.  Technologies and communications methods may change, but our promise to treat our customers in a fair and ethical way never will.”

Bob Liodice, President and CEO, ANA

“The DAA program is not only global, but now also mobile. The expansion of the DAA program into the mobile realm is an extraordinarily important development. Mobile is, by far, the fastest growing media category. Half of all U.S. adults now have a connection to the web through either a smartphone or tablet, so it’s all the more critical that they have control over how they receive advertising on their mobile devices. The DAA mobile guidance give them that control.”

Carrie Hurt, Interim President & CEO, Council of Better Business Bureaus

“Deploying the DAA program across the mobile ecosystem brings us another step forward in providing greater compliance and transparency for consumers through better privacy disclosures and controls.”

Linda Woolley, President and CEO of DMA

“Using data in a responsible manner is essential in building and keeping consumer trust, and provides great benefit to businesses and consumers alike,” said DMA President and CEO Linda A. Woolley.  “DMA’s mission is to advance and protect responsible data-driven marketing, and DAA’s next step into the mobile space is a great example of how self-regulatory programs can be implemented across the full spectrum of technology platforms.”

Randall Rothenberg, President and CEO of IAB

"The tenets of consumer privacy and control are critical to the growth and expansion of the entire interactive advertising ecosystem, whether on large or small screens. Consumers are consistently turning to their mobile devices as powerful digital dashboards that guide them from the moment they wake up, through the workday and into their evening entertainment hours – and mobile advertising has skyrocketed as a result. This mobile self-regulatory program is a vital next step in cultivating mobile’s dramatic rise.

Marc Groman, Executive Director and General Counsel, NAI

“Consumer choice is what powers the digital economy and having a robust third-party advertising ecosystem is key to making online choices so diverse. The self-regulatory program underscores these benefits by giving consumers more transparency and choice in interest-based ads they view on their mobile devices.”

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