DAA Issues Specs For AdChoices Icon In Mobile

The self-regulatory group Digital Advertising Alliance on Monday released detailed instructions for how its blue icon should appear and how it should be used in mobile ads.

The guidelines mark the DAA's effort to extend its ad choice program to mobile after releasing a set of mobile principles for behaviorally targeted advertising last July.

Among other things, those rules said ad networks, app developers and others must obtain people's opt-in consent before collecting geolocation information and address-book data.

The new Ad Marker Implementation Guidelines for Mobile offer specs for the size, placement and function of the DAA's triangular blue icon in ads on the smartphone and tablet. When someone touches the icon on a mobile screen, the document sets out what type of information and options can be displayed.

For publishers and developers, it also explains how the AdChoices notice should appear within apps versus the mobile Web. The in-app notice, for example, should be accessible from an app's Settings screen. For the Web, it should appear in the mobile page footer.

An overall goal is to maintain consistency across both online and mobile for providing notice, opt out and setting limitations on data collection. “This guidance will help to ensure that the DAA Icon, and the enforceable self-regulatory code of conduct it represents, continue to serve the needs of Internet users as they migrate their online activities to mobile platforms,” said DAA Executive Director Lou Mastria, in a statement.

Following the release of the mobile specs at the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s Mobile Marketplace conference today, the DAA has more work to do to expand its program to mobile. The next goal is to standardize opt-out choice mechanisms for mobile. Companies such as Evidon and Truste already power the AdChoices icon in the mobile environment. 

The guidelines, however, have drawn at least one critic. Jeff Chester, executive director of the advocacy group Center for Digital Democracy, questioned how well the industry-supported DAA program would work in mobile. “The FTC should demand that the DAA fund independent testing of the icon program on mobile devices,” he said. He suggested consumer awareness of the icon in rich media ads or immersive mobile experiences may pose a particular problem. 

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