The advertising industry’s Ad Choices self-regulatory program met its mobile counterpart early April 2013. The free app, known as Ad Control, was developed by Evidon and initially released in the Apple App Store, with the Android version to be made available later in the month.
The Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA) is set to announce its mobile privacy standards and Evidon’s release is assumed to enable compliance. The DAA first introduced its Ad Choices program in 2011 in response to growing concerns at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the government that consumers required a way to opt out of behaviorally targeted ads.
Although regulators appear satisfied that the industry is indeed protecting consumer privacy online via self-regulatory efforts, they have also been pressing for a mobile solution, which the industry has been promising to deliver for over a year.
As Evidon provides the privacy controls for many of the companies participating in the DAA’s online Ad Choices program, Ad Control launched with broad participation from the mobile ad industry, including IPG Mediabrands, GroupM and VivaKi, which are responsible for about 60 percent of all mobile ads, and 20 of the world’s leading mobile ad networks, such as Google Ad Exchange, Tapad, ActionX, MediaMath and Jumptap.
According to Evidon’s blog, Ad Control is important for consumers because, “It gives them simple, robust privacy controls where they arguably need it the most.” After all, according to FTC consumer protection lead David Vladeck, 67 percent of smartphone users sleep with their smartphones.
Scott Meyer at Evidon pointed out,
“For businesses, [Ad Control] is about being able to more completely leverage the mobile channel, because now, doing it responsibly – across all environments – is easy. To integrate into Ad Control, publishers and networks don’t have to install or make any changes to SDK’s. Each individual partner’s opt-out is accommodated automatically – no single, unique identifiers required, no relying on a third-party database of consumer opt-out preferences, which could introduce performance and security issues.”
Who is Evidon?
Founded in 2009, Evidon is a NYC-based tech-company that purports to reveal the invisible web. It may be best-known for its technology, Ghostery, the industry-leading browser tool that reports on data collection across 26 million websites and informs the company’s business control solutions. Evidon also provides market-leading privacy controls for over $2 billion of display media and e-commerce transactions each year.
Evidon is based on the following core principles:
- Foster a more transparent internet to help businesses grow and protect consumers.
- Promote responsible data collection/usage by enabling people and businesses to see all of that tracking clearly, understand what it does, and control it in a way to empowers them.
- Provide simple solutions for complex policy problems, and complex business problems.
- Ensure that notice and choice are consistent with the FTC’s principles, industry’s Self-Regulatory Principles and European legal principles to protect consumers and ensure that businesses comply with those regulations effectively.
- Use data on behalf of customers, but never collect, sell or trade advertising inventory or data that targets consumers.
- Provide neutral data and tools for enforcement means, but never assume an enforcement role.
In March of 2013, Evidon announced that its InForm solution would be joining IBM’s Digital Data Exchange (DDX), enabling IBM Digital Analytics clients to comply with global privacy regulations easily, via a direct integration of Evidon privacy control tags into IBM’s DDX.
This partnership means that Evidon would become an IBM DDX Certified Partner. InForm tags – which enable businesses to provide privacy notices on websites to give consumers transparency and control over how their data is collected – will be easily accessible to all IBM DDX clients. The integration will enable those clients to test and deploy Evidon website notices across their sites, directly from the DDX interface, which eliminates the need to spend valuable resources on manual deployments.
Evidon’s InForm represents the industry-standard method for delivering essential privacy notices (e.g. those needed to comply with the EU’s ePrivacy Directive) to hundreds of millions of consumers each day, providing them the control over tracking in over 40 languages worldwide.
IBM’s DDX is a tag management solution. It simplifies the management of IBM and third-party page tags, allowing clients to deploy and maintain website pages with minimal IT support.
This article introduces Evidon’s latest app, Ad Control, which is essentially the mobile counterpart to the ad industry’s Ad Choices self-regulatory program that permits consumers to opt-out of online-targeted ads.
CIPP Exam Preparation
In preparation for the Certified Information Privacy Professional/Information Technology (CIPP/IT), a privacy professional should be comfortable with topics related to this post, including:
- Types of notice and choice (IV.A.)
- Software-based notice and consent (IV.B.)