Blog

Submitted by NAI on April 20, 2015

The Federation for Internet Alerts (FIA) is nominated for a Webby Award and we need your help!  Vote for FIA in the Interactive Advertising: Public Service & Activism category!

FIA is an organization dedicated to disseminating alerts for serious events worldwide, such as child abductions or the imminent threat of a tornado or other hazard. FIA Partners include NAI members Epsilon/Conversant, AppNexis, AOL, Quantcast, Rocket Fuel, Turn, 33 Across and Specific Media.

What are The Webby Awards? The Webby Awards are the leading international awards that honor excellence on the Internet through the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences.

See the link below to view the nomination video submitted by NAI member Conversant.

NAI Members - Help FIA and your fellow NAI members win the People’s Voice Award! Cast your vote for FIA today and promote on your social networks by posting to Facebook and Twitter.

Voting ends April 23 – so cast your vote today!

VOTE HERE. VOTE NOW!

Submitted by NAI on April 16, 2015

This year’s NAI Member Summit is fast approaching. Scheduled for just over one month away, on May 21 in New York City, the 2015 Summit is expected to be our biggest and best yet.

Register today.

This year’s Summit will focus on innovation. Panels and discussion sessions will address strategies for keeping pace with ever-shifting technologies in today’s state-of-the-art digital advertising. Attendees will leave with enhanced knowledge about responsible collection, use, and management of consumer data and increased insight into best practices for the third party online ecosystem.

Some topics planned for the event include:

  • Beyond Cookies
  • Onboarding and Compliance
  • Using Privacy by Design to Manage Your Cross-Device Platform
  • Internet of Things (What Do Our Possessions Say About Us – Digital Privacy in the Age of Connected Everything)

Also new this year will be an international-focused panel.

Panelists will include top executives and privacy experts from industry leading companies and organizations. A full list of speakers will be released soon.

Finally, as we first announced on our blog in February, we’re looking forward to a keynote address by the Department of Commerce’s General Counsel, Kelly Welsh. Few people are more directly involved with ongoing discussions about economic growth, innovation and commerce than Mr. Welsh and we welcome his insights on these important topics.

Put the 2015 NAI Member Summit on your calendar - it’s about the future of our industry and the future of your company.  Register today.

We are grateful to our Summit sponsors without whom this important event would not be possible:

  • Platinum Sponsor: Conversant
  • Silver Sponsors: Yahoo! and Google
  • Cocktail Reception Sponsor: AOL
  • Lunch Sponsors: Criteo and AppNexus
  • Underwriting Sponsors: Davis & Gilbert, ZwillGen, and Keller Heckman

To find more information about the Summit and to register today, visit the NAI website.

Submitted by Anthony Matyjas... on March 31, 2015

NAI is pleased to release our sixth Annual Compliance Report today, providing a summary of the findings from our compliance monitoring processes during the 2014 compliance period (January 1, 2014 to December 31, 2014).

As NAI Counsel and Director of Compliance, I am proud of this comprehensive Report and of the time and effort invested in it by our staff and by representatives of our member companies.

The 2014 report marks the largest Annual Review conducted by NAI, and the first one to evaluate compliance with the updated 2013 NAI Code of Conduct, which went into effect in January 2014.

This year’s Compliance Report shows that NAI members continue to demonstrate a commitment to the high standards set out in NAI’s Code. The Report is evidence that self-regulation can and does work, and its publication is important because it allows consumers and regulators to evaluate NAI’s compliance program and self-regulatory process for themselves.

As the Report explains in much greater detail, the NAI staff monitors compliance with the Code throughout the year and works with members on an ongoing basis to ensure compliance, even as their business models and technologies evolve. For example, we engage in automated technical monitoring of our member companies Opt-Out Mechanisms. Last year, we also added monitoring tools to automatically flag changes to member companies’ privacy disclosures. These efforts are in addition to interviews with high-level executives at those companies, individual assessments of extensive questionnaires, and manual reviews of contract samples, public-facing statements, and non-public marketing materials. Not only does this extensive process allow us gauge overall member compliance with the Code, it also helps NAI gain unparalleled insight into the state of our industry.

Some key highlights of the Report include:

  • Technical Monitoring:
    • NAI made continuous improvements to our automated monitoring capabilities.
    • We launched a new Privacy Disclosures Scanner in 2014.
    • Our staff manually examined over 600 member cookies for lifespan and behavior.
       
  • Consumer Communications:
    • NAI reviewed nearly 9000 consumer queries received via email, postal mail, or telephone.
       
  • Education:
    • Members donated over 5.5 billion impressions to the NAI educational campaign, nearly tripling last year’s contributions. o This additional exposure led to over 4.5 million page views of the NAI’s educational material, 1.5 million more than last year.
       
  • Choice:
    • Over 5 million visits to the NAI Opt-Out page, over a million more than in 2013.

Through our rigorous compliance review process, NAI found that members are upholding their commitments to NAI’s high standards. That does not mean that we did not find any potential violations of the Code. We did not find any material violations of the Code during the 2014 compliance review period. NAI staff worked with many member companies to spot and resolve potential issues early, before they could affect a large number of consumers, or otherwise necessitate sanctions or enforcement procedures. For instance, we found that some member companies had minor issues such as broken opt out links in their privacy policies or elsewhere on their sites. However, in all of these cases, members had provided consumers with an alternative mechanism for consumers to opt out, such as a link to the NAI opt out page. In the end, whenever these issues were discovered, they were found to be unintentional, were resolved quickly, and affected a limited number of consumers.

I should note that NAI of course retains the option to sanction members if Code violations are found to be material; however, we have found that maintaining dialogue and communication with member companies on an ongoing basis helps resolve issues quickly, to the benefit of the consumer and the overall health of the ecosystem.

At NAI, we often say that self-regulation only works when high standards are backed by a true commitment to accountability and a rigorous enforcement procedure. This Report serves as evidence that self-regulation can and does work. NAI will leverage the findings of the Report to further strengthen our strong self-regulatory program.

Submitted by NAI on March 30, 2015

NAI Annual Compliance Report Highlights Members’ Strong Commitment to Responsible Data Collection, Use and Consumer Privacy

WASHINGTON, DCMarch 30, 2015 – The Network Advertising Initiative (NAI), the leading non-profit self-regulatory association comprised exclusively of third-party digital advertising companies and dedicated to responsible data collection and its use, today released its 2014 Annual Compliance Report, a review of members’ adherence to the NAI Code of Conduct. The report, based on findings from the NAI staff’s comprehensive monitoring processes during the 2014 compliance period, shows that NAI members – 96 third-party digital advertising companies -- met their obligations under the provisions of the Code and demonstrated their commitment to consumer privacy and industry best practices.

“At NAI, we know that self-regulation only works if the standards are backed by robust enforcement,” said Noga Rosenthal, NAI General Counsel and Vice President of Compliancy and Policy. “Our compliance staff worked with members to ensure that they complied with the Code, and the 2014 Compliance Report shows that member companies continue to take their obligations under the Code seriously.”

NAI’s compliance monitoring in 2014 required member companies to adhere to the NAI Code, which, imposed notice, choice, transparency, use limitations, data security, access, and accountability requirements with respect to Interest-Based Advertising (IBA) activities. The Code, updated in 2013, applies Fair Information Practice Principles (FIPPs) to IBA and Ad Delivery and Reporting (ADR) activities of member companies in the United States.

NAI’s compliance staff includes professionals with diverse backgrounds, ranging from law to computer science. The compliance process begins before a company can join NAI. NAI staff conducts a thorough review of every applicant before any company can claim NAI membership. The staff conducts annual reviews of each member, examining thousands of pages of privacy policies, internal policies, website content, and other documents. NAI has also developed unique technical monitoring tools. For example, NAI’s “Opt-Out Scanner” monitors members’ opt-out mechanisms and constantly gathers data on their functionality and reliability. In 2014, NAI began using a “Privacy Disclosures Scanner” that alerts NAI staff to changes to members’ privacy policies so that they can review for any inadvertent deletion of notice requirements under the Code.

“NAI’s compliance monitoring processes allow us to identify potential Code violations and quickly address them before they affect a large number of consumers,” said Rosenthal. “We found that some member companies had minor Code violations such as broken opt out links in their privacy policies or elsewhere on their sites. None of the issues discovered in the 2014 compliance period were deemed to constitute material non-compliance with the Code because the underlying issues were resolved quickly, were found to be unintentional, and affected a limited number of consumers.”

“NAI retains the option to sanction members if Code violations are found to be material; however, we have found that maintaining dialogue and communication with member companies on an ongoing basis helps resolve issues quickly to the benefit of the consumer and increases the overall health of the ecosystem, continued Rosenthal.

“Through publication of this report, consumers, regulators and others can see for themselves how the NAI compliance program and self-regulatory process works,” said Doug Miller, Global Privacy Leader, AOL Inc., and Chairman of the NAI Board of Directors. “The report also illustrates how this process shapes the evolution of the NAI’s policies and procedures, including goals for further improving its compliance program in 2015.”

The NAI leverages the findings of the Annual Compliance Report to further strengthen its self-regulatory program. In 2015, the NAI will work to finalize guidance for member use of non-cookie technologies, such as statistical identifiers, for IBA. NAI is assessing these new technologies as they become part of NAI members’ IBA practices, with the goal of implementing policy that is consistent with NAI's history of effective self-regulation. NAI staff will also help prepare member companies to comply with the Mobile Application Code, which is currently scheduled to go into effect later this year.

“I congratulate the NAI staff for this comprehensive report,” said NAI’s new President and CEO Leigh Freund. “NAI is a model for effective self-regulation because our standards are measurable, disciplined, rigorous, and backed by a serious commitment to enforcement and accountability. As a result, the NAI self-regulatory program fosters innovation and encourages creative problem-solving. I look forward to working with NAI members to ensure that NAI’s self-regulatory program remains strong.”

Download the 2014 Annual Compliance Report here.