Triple A, Anheuser-Busch And Wayfair Didn't Comply With Privacy Rules, Watchdog Says

The non-profit American Automobile Association, beer company Anheuser-Busch and e-commerce company Wayfair failed to comply with ad industry's privacy code, a unit of the Better Business Bureau said Thursday.

Triple A of Northern California, Nevada and Utah allegedly allowed ad networks and other third parties to collect data about online visitors, but didn't offer a valid opt-out mechanism at its site. While the privacy policy at Triple A's site contained an opt-out link, clicking on it took visitors to a page where they could opt out of data collection by Adobe -- but not other tracking companies, according to the BBB's Online Accountability Unit.

Anheuser-Busch and Wayfair allegedly failed to offer "enhanced" notice explaining online behavioral targeting. Providing "enhanced" notice requires adding separate link that takes visitors directly to an opt-out site. That separate link is supposed to appear on every page where data about visitors is collected.

The new cases by the BBB's Online Accountability Unit come more than three years after it warned publishers to provide “clear, meaningful and prominent” links on all pages where third parties -- like ad networks and exchanges -- collect data about visitors in order to serve them with targeted ads.

The three cases all stemmed from consumer complaints, the watchdog said. Triple A, Anheuser-Busch and Wayfair have revised their Web sites and are now in compliance with the industry's code, according to the Online Accountability Unit.

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