Privacy Icons Roll Out On Video Ads

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The you-are-being-targeted icons that began rolling out on banner ads late last year are now coming to video ads. Privacy company Truste has entered into an agreement with Adap.tv to carry the icons on the company's online ad platform. As of July, Adap.tv reaches more than 20% of the U.S. population, according to comScore.

Adap.tv is not the only player to start serving icons in video ads. Tremor Video -- which also reaches around 20% of the U.S., per comScore -- plans to roll out the privacy icons next month. The company licensed the icons directly from the umbrella ad trade group Digital Advertising Alliance, which includes the Interactive Advertising Bureau, Association of National Advertisers, Direct Marketing Association and American Association of Advertising Agencies.

In addition, AdoTube said it also intends to start placing icons on video ads. Compliance company Evidon will power the icons for AdoTube.

The icons are at the center of the industry's self-regulatory privacy program. They were developed as a means of informing consumers about behavioral advertising -- or the practice of serving ads based on sites users have visited in the past. The icons also contain links to pages where people can learn more about behavioral advertising and opt out of receiving targeted ads, but not online data collection.

Researchers at Stanford said recently that icons are appearing on about 11% of ads served by third parties on popular Web sites.

Federal Trade Commission officials have praised the icon program, but are also calling on Web companies to develop a universal do-not-track mechanism that will allow consumers to easily opt out of data collection, as well as receiving targeted ads.

Tags: ftc, privacy, video
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