Digital Advertising Alliance Icons Move Forward With TRUSTe
The ad industry's self-regulatory privacy initiative is advancing this week, with additional marketers and compliance companies set to start deploying new icons that aim to inform Web users about online ad targeting.
TRUSTe is expected to announce Thursday that it has been approved by the Digital Advertising Alliance to provide the behavioral advertising icons indicating that ads are being served based on data collected from consumers as they surf the Web. With the move, TRUSTe will join Evidon (formerly Better Advertising) as well as DoubleVerify in providing icons.
TRUSTe, which recently abandoned an attempt to launch its own behavioral-targeting icons, expects to start powering the new icons by March. (TRUSTe continues to offer its own seal of approval for e-commerce sites and other publishers.) Among the targeting companies expected to receive icons from TRUSTe is Media6Degrees.
DoubleVerify, which was itself recently approved by the DAA as a compliance provider, plans to soon start providing the icons to advertisers including Verizon, Qantas, Toyota, Hyundai and Kia.
In addition, Collective also plans to announce today that it has partnered with Evidon for the icons and will use those provided by that company in ads placed through Collective's network.
Collective also will enable the 28 publishers that use its technology platform -- including EverydayHealth.com, AARP, and Internet Broadcasting -- to easily serve ads with icons powered by Evidon.
Exactly when Collective will start offering the icons remains unknown, but Justin Evans, senior vice president of audience insights, says he expects it to happen soon. "It's a high priority for us and we will have it up in the very short term," he says.
The icon -- a lower-case i inside a triangle -- is aimed at notifying consumers about behavioral advertising, or tracking users and sending them ads based on sites visited, and allowing them to opt out. Industry self-regulatory principles call for such notifications when behaviorally targeted ads appear, but actually deploying the icons is proving technologically complex.
One of the many technical issues stems from the fact that publishers, advertisers and agencies might be working with separate compliance companies. For instance, a Web publisher that uses Collective's technology platform might display an ad from a marketer that obtains icons from DoubleVerify.
In that case, the companies are expected to use a process dubbed "collision resolution" to determine which provider will supply the icon, Evans says. He says the collision-resolution standards call for the icon to be provided by the company working with the advertiser or agency, in case of a conflict with the publisher.
The recent developments come as policymakers are increasingly calling for new privacy regulations. The Federal Trade Commission recently suggested that Web companies should create a do-not-track mechanism enabling users to opt out of all online data collection. Also, the Commerce Department recently urged ad industry groups and consumer advocates to work together to develop enforceable self-regulatory privacy policies based on Fair Information Practices principles.