Results tagged “Privacy” from IABlog
Privacy advocates and regulators have challenged the ad industry to provide meaningful choice when it comes to the collection and use of behavioral data. In response, industry leaders have come together in support of the enhanced ad notice icon, which leads the user to industry wide disclosure and choice options. Although some still question this approach, it is well positioned to have significant industry adoption as a framework for consumer choice on traditional websites.
The industry is at an earlier stage when it comes to providing notice and choice on mobile devices. The infrastructure delivering mobile ads isn’t as well developed, and the ecosystem is more complex with carriers, devices and operating systems each playing a role. Nevertheless, given the rapid growth expected for mobile advertising, and the heightened privacy concerns associated with location-aware mobile devices, it is imperative that we also focus on how to deliver meaningful choice in this new environment.
The in-ad use of the enhanced ad notice icon faces some obstacles when applied to ads that appear within mobile apps, a growing segment of online ads. Not only does there tend to be less visible real estate in mobile ads, there’s no easy way (like cookies) to store the preference so that it is accessible across or between different apps and the mobile browser. Companies are working on ways to store tracking preferences at the device-level, but to work this will take a new level of cooperation between advertisers, operating system providers, and app makers—each with their own privacy agenda.
Despite these challenges, meaningful choice may actually become easier for ads in mobile apps because they can provide a different choice framework. Unlike typical websites, every app already has a moment of choice before any data collection begins: the moment of installation. Users typically install new apps through a marketplace (like Apple’s App Store) where they search, browse, and select new apps. Each app has a reference page, which can include links to terms of service and privacy information. Notice-and-choice for tracking, possibly even the icon itself, can be provided at this stage in the process of installing an application.
About the Author
Jim Brock is Founder and CEO of PrivacyChoice. You can follow him on Twitter @privacychoice.
Continue the discussion on this IAB Ad Ops blog series on Twitter by adding #MeaningfulChoice to your tweets.
On December 7 in San Francisco, Quova sponsored the IAB’s last Innovator’s Round Table Dinner (IRD) of 2010, and I had the honor of being their host. The event was held at the popular Peruvian eatery La Mar, on Pier 1 (the food was fabulous, and if you go, be sure to order a ‘Pisco Sour’ from the bar). Having been sponsored by an industry leader in online geo location the conversation—not surprisingly—centered on the following topics related to location-based advertising:
- The benefit of geo-location to advertisers and marketers
- The opportunities and risks created by the joining of online and offline data
- The responsibility and challenges of protecting consumer’s privacy.
I had the pleasure of sitting with a table of overachievers that included LaurieAnne Lassek and Walter Beisheim of Quova, Michael McGuire and Alicia Gubba of Gartner, Jack Androvich of AutoDesk and Chase Norlin of Alphabird. I am still kicking myself for not asking the origin of the name “Alphabird” (perhaps it is the bird that incited the violence depicted by Alfred Hitchcock?).
Our spirited conversation brought interesting points. The benefit of location awareness to advertisers was summed up in the term “relevance.” Relevance is a nuanced term in the digital advertising industry. However, if you think of all the information we can know about a consumer and their interests before delivering an ad, it’s all potentially useless if our offers are poorly targeted with regard to a consumer’s location. For instance, my interest in Peruvian food and music is generally irrelevant, EXCEPT when I am visiting San Francisco. Then it becomes highly relevant—to La Mar.
The joining of offline and online data remains a touchy subject. While we did not delve deeply into why, we did acknowledge that regulation is coming in this area, and there are challenges. One of those challenges is how to use merged data to effectively market to consumers, without making them feel as if they were being ‘stalked’ in the real world based on their online activity. Companies that control offline consumer data manage a terrifying amount of personal information. If offline personal information is merged with online profiles, and that merger results in highly targeted online offers, there may be a risk of alarming, rather than enticing consumers—thus breaking the trust relationship between consumer and brand. When consumers lose the ability to exercise control over their personal information, the issue becomes very sensitive. Our industry would be wise to offer consumers meaningful choice to enhance trust, not break it. This of course, led us naturally to the last topic.
We fear what we do not understand. The Federal Trade Commission is reminding us of this every day. If we do not want to risk driving the consumer away, then our industry must take steps to earn their trust. Trust is built through educating and offering meaningful choice to consumers. As such, the self-regulatory work we are engaged in (see http://www.aboutads.info) will need to evolve to include targeting based on location awareness.
This was the third IRD I have attended, and the first I have hosted. These are special events—always intimate, personal and full of stimulating conversation. Thanks to Quova for sponsoring, and thank you to all those who attended and participated.
Steve Sullivan is VP Digital Supply Chain Solutions for the IAB