We are pleased to announce that we have now been awarded the EDAA seal! This seal declares that ePrivacyconsult (an independent company) have verified that we operate in accordance with the EU self-regulatory framework. So what does that mean?
What are we compliant with, exactly?
The EDAA European Principles (which is the IAB Europe Framework for Online Behavioural Advertising as well as the EASA Best Practice Recommendation on Online Behavioural Advertising)are a set of industry-defined rules which aim to meet the objectives of improving consumer awareness and control over their online advertising experience. In simple terms, this means:
- Don’t make use of personal data (unless you get explicit consent to do so)
- Don’t target children
- Don’t target sensitive areas (e.g. certain health conditions)
- Provide an opt-out capability for consumers to not be targeted by you
- Make this opt-out available via the EU-wide youronlinechoices site
- Use the AdChoices icon on ads you serve
- Include notice on what you do where you can (via the icon, and on websites)
- Be responsible with the anonymous data you obtain
- Accept that these standards will be enforced by regional industry bodies (e.g. the ASA in UK)
- Give consumers the chance to complain, and handle those complaints appropriately.
How did we prove this?
These principles have been around for several years. Indeed, a large number of companies (including us) signed up to the IAB framework way back in April 2011. Signing up carried with it the responsibility to formally self-certify that your company does indeed comply with these principles. We did this in October 2013 – the reason for waiting for so long was self-certifying automatically carries a requirement to have this self-certification checked by an independent vendor. These vendors were only announced last Summer. We selected ePrivacyconsult to review our processes, approach and technology in order to verify we did indeed meet the requirements, and they have confirmed that we do. As a result of their findings, we can make use of this seal:
ePrivacyconsult will regularly check that we are continuing to comply, so this is not a one-shot deal.
How significant is this?
Well, there are 150+ signatories to the principles, so in theory they should all be working on self-certifying and being verified. There are 29 who have self-certified, and only 7 who have been verified (well, 8, when you add us). So we are pleased to be in the vanguard of this initiative, although it only really amounts to anything if we all pull together.
The rationale for making this a success is simple – as an industry, we have developed this approach which does a good job of meeting the needs of consumers, i.e. explaining what’s going on, and allowing them to opt out of some or all targeted advertising (it doesn’t stop users seeing ads, but it does mean their browsing data isn’t used for customising their ad experience). The approach operates consistently across US, Canada and Europe, with new countries looking likely to join in soon. This is in contrast to the legislative forays into this area, which have raised awareness, but done little to inform consumers, let alone protect them – whatever “protect” means in this scenario.
This initiative has some way to go – complete adoption by the industry, operation across mobile and working without setting a cookie to be more robust, to say the least. But by making progress as an industry, we can reduce the fears of consumers and legislators which must be a good thing, and we are proud to be a part of that.
As Vice President of Product Management, Tim oversees the direction of Exponential’s ad serving platform and data capabilities as well as ensuring that the product suite offers appropriate brand safety and data protection for clients, publishers and internet users. Prior to joining Exponential, Tim built the EU business solutions function and led product management at Specific Media. His product management experience outside adtech includes broadband networks at Regus, SMS infrastructure at Schlumberger and GSM systems at Sema Group. Tim holds an MBA from INSEAD, CIPP/E and CIPT from the International Association of Privacy Professionals and is Scrum CSPO certified.
This is the blog of Exponential Interactive Inc.,(www.exponential.com) a global provider of advertising intelligence and digital media solutions to brand advertisers.
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