Self-Regulatory Organizations Launch New Version of IBA Choice Tool: Allows Opt-Out of Cookieless Tracking

Self-Regulatory Organizations Launch New Version of IBA Choice Tool: Allows Opt-Out of Cookieless Tracking

Blog WilmerHale Privacy and Cybersecurity Law

Two self-regulatory organizations that promulgate transparency and choice standards for interest-based advertising (IBA) have created new beta versions of their consumer choice tools for setting preferences about digital advertising data collection and use. The Network Advertising Initiative (NAI) and the Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA) tout that they are easier to use and give consumers more choices, including the choice to opt out of cookieless tracking for use in IBA. 

The DAA’s Self-Regulatory Principles for Online Behavioral Advertising and the 2015 Update to the NAI’s Code of Conduct require that members give consumers choices as to how their data are collected and used for IBA purposes. Both cookies and cookieless technologies, such as statistical IDs and local storage objects, can be used for IBA purposes. However, unlike cookies, cookieless tracking technologies can track user behavior across browsers.

The NAI and DAA claim that the new tools, which rely on technology designed and developed by the NAI, are the result of an ongoing collaboration between the two self-regulatory organizations and make it easier for consumers to opt out of both cookie-based tracking and cookieless tracking. In fact, according to the NAI’s press release, the new tools are “the first to offer a technology-based opt-out for both cookie-based and non-cookie technologies.” 

Companies engaging in IBA are now required to let NAI and DAA know whether their tracking for IBA purposes uses cookies, cookieless technologies, or both. The NAI and DAA have populated their new opt-out tools with that information, so that when a consumer uses the tools, they will be shown a list of companies performing IBA on their browser. Each company listed has a “(+)” next to it. Consumers who click on the “(+)” will be shown a drop-down screen informing them whether the company uses cookie-based technology, cookieless technology, or both. Consumers may then opt out of both kinds of tracking for IBA purposes. The tools effectuate the opt-out by setting an opt-out cookie that advertisers must follow with respect to both cookies and cookieless tracking.

Among other changes reported by the DAA and NAI, the tools’ interfaces are simplified. Further, the tools have mobile-device-friendly interfaces, allowing users to log opt-outs on their mobile-device browsers, and instructing users on how to opt-out of IBA that occurs across apps on mobile devices. 

For more information on the on the new tools, you can read the press releases here (NAI) and here (DAA). You can access the NAI tool here and the DAA tool here.

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