Submitted by Marc Groman on September 2, 2014

Any reader of this blog knows that NAI is a non-profit, self-regulatory organization dedicated to responsible data collection and use for digital advertising. What you may not know is that NAI is led by an elected Board of Directors from a diverse cross-section of member companies. 

Time for a little boasting. No other industry organization has a Board of Directors comprised of individuals who have the depth of experience, reputation and accomplishments in the privacy and advertising sectors as the 12 members of NAI’s Board. 

Our board is unique because the members are not only experts in privacy, but they are industry leaders in business and advertising. Why is that important to our members? The fact that our Board members understand privacy issues and are accomplished business leaders in advertising means that they understand the challenges faced by our member companies. Our Board understands privacy issues and online advertising, and thus can craft thoughtful, practical, scalable standards that benefit everyone. They are privacy executive all-stars from the advertising industry - a unique talent pool in its composition and depth, with a cross-section of experience. They are lawyers, engineers, policy experts and business leaders.

What a combo. Here is a quick overview of their experience, and I urge you to click on their names to read additional information about them:

Doug Miller is Vice President and Global Privacy Leader at AOL and also leads the NAI Board as its Chairman. At AOL, Doug oversees a range of privacy operations including guidance, compliance, education, and planning. He became a full-time privacy professional in 1998. Estelle Werth is based in Paris, France and brings a European perspective. She is Global Privacy Officer at Criteo, a global leader in digital performance display advertising, where she manages risks and business impacts of privacy laws and regulation ensuring privacy protection of users. Dstillery COO Andrew Pancer was previously Vice President of Digital Development at the New York Times, and COO and CFO of, where revenues exceeded $100 million and profits tripled during his tenure.

Board member Shane Wiley leads the privacy and data governance teams at Yahoo! supporting nearly 700 million users across 190 products, services, and platforms in over 50 markets in 29 languages operating across PCs, mobile devices, and cutting edge consumer electronics. 

Our Board is comprised of top industry leaders, but as important, these members have demonstrated a commitment by word and deed to the NAI mission — develop and enforce high standards for the collection and use of information for digital advertising. Within their companies, each person serves as an evangelist for privacy best practices that promote consumer trust and brand reputations. Alexis Goltra is Chief Privacy Officer and Asst. General Counsel for Privacy & Security at Oracle and manages Oracle’s global privacy and data protection compliance program. David Wainberg drives his company’s response to an array of complex policy issues deeply intertwined with technology as Privacy & Policy Counsel at AppNexus. Brooks Dobbs is Chief Privacy Officer at KBMGroup where he is responsible for global privacy compliance across member companies. Brooks was “present at the creation” -- his experience goes back to Double Click and he has worked with NAI since our organization’s inception. Jason Bier is the Chief Privacy Officer at Conversant where he manages external public policy matters as well as oversees the company’s internal privacy best practices globally. Jason plays a leadership role with the Federation for Internet Alerts, an organization that leverages emerging technologies to provide life-saving alerts online for tornado warnings and missing children.

Michael Benedek, President and CEO of Datonics LLC, has over 20 years of business experience in the Internet, Financial Services (with Bank Hapoalim B.M. in Tel Aviv, Israel), and Healthcare (with Shahal Medical Services Ltd. In Tel Aviv, Israel) fields. For more than a decade, Alan Chapell has helped marketers build customer trust through responsible privacy practices as President of Chapell & Associates and has helped over 100 media and technology companies craft their privacy and data strategies. 

Will DeVries is Privacy Counsel for Google, advising Google’s product teams on privacy legal issues worldwide. He previously worked for Google in Washington, DC as Policy Counsel on regulatory and legislative issues ranging from social networking to online advertising to government access to user data. Matthew Haies, Vice President, General Counsel at Xaxis where he oversees the company’s worldwide legal strategy. 

NAI Board members ensure that NAI continues to be the industry leader in its commitment to responsible data collection and use for digital advertising. We couldn’t do what we do without them, and they deserve recognition for their commitment and dedication to our industry. 

Submitted by Marc Groman on August 22, 2014 this week listed the “15 People In NYC Who Are Changing Advertising That You Need to Know About.”  We are beaming with pride here at NAI as eight of these 15 all-stars are from NAI member companies.  

AlleyWatch notes that these are the people “who are pushing the platforms and brands and the envelope right now. Get to know who they are and be nice. These may be the investors of tomorrow who just might write that check that funds the Big Idea.”  You can read the story here.

Congratulations to the following thought leaders on the list who represent NAI member companies (click names to read about each of these leaders on

Joe Apprendi, Co-Founder and CEO, Collective, Inc. 

Eric Franchi, Co-founder and Chief Evangelist, Undertone 

Sloan Gaon, CEO, PulsePoint 

Brian O’Kelley, Co-founder and CEO, AppNexus 

Andy Monfried, Founder and CEO, Lotame

Erika Nardini, CMO, AOL Advertising 

Evan Simeone, VP Engineering, PubMatic 

Joe Zawadzki, CEO, MediaMath

We always say that it is our members who set NAI apart from other organizations in the online advertising space.  The AlleyWatch list is further proof that our member ad tech providers are playing a critical and leadership role in the digital advertising ecosystem.  

Do you want to join these trend-setters as an NAI member?  Become an NAI member today!

Submitted by Shaq Katikala on August 19, 2014

A blog post by Shaq Katikala, NAI's Compliance and Technology Fellow.



The Network Advertising Initiative’s Mobile Application Code is scheduled to go into effect in 2015. Under this code, NAI members must obtain a user’s Opt-in Consent when using Precise Location Data for Cross-App Advertising. NAI acknowledges that definitions in the mobile space are challenging, including the task of determining what is truly “precise.” We want to provide our members with concrete definitions and detailed guidance to enable their compliance with the Code; however, we also do not want to be overly prescriptive in a way that could impede innovation and get too far ahead of the marketplace.

This is important work for our industry. The use of precise location information - and the potentially sensitive nature of precise location information collected about a user over time – is a concern in Washington, DC and the issue has gained attention in the media.

That’s a tough nut to crack in this space, but we are not daunted by the challenge. 

NAI will continue to work on these issues with our members and other associations. We are encouraging our members to engage in the discussion. NAI’s Codes are developed by the membership for the membership.

If you aren’t n NAI member yet, please join our efforts to develop high standards and robust compliance. 

Submitted by Marc Groman on August 8, 2014

According to a post on Adotas, a recent survey of 1,000 consumers by the firm Punchtab found that “nearly a third of consumers (27%) say they are likely to allow retailers to track their mobile location in exchange for valuable coupons, shorter checkout times and sales promotion.” In addition, “while privacy was the primary concern against mobile tracking followed by excessive marketing, a growing number of consumers are embracing location-based offers as long as there is something tangible to be gained in doing so.”

The potential benefits of the responsible use of location information for both brands and consumers are very exciting. I’m thrilled that many consumers are embracing the use of location data and understanding the value exchange.

As the article points out, mobile tracking creates legitimate privacy concerns, particularly if a profile is created about a user’s precise location over time. I’m pleased that devices and platforms offer consumers tools to control how and when location data is collected and shared.

I completely agree with the author that it is incumbent on industry to educate consumers and offer users choices about how their location data may be collected, used, and shared. Choice is critical.

However, as a privacy lawyer, I do want to caution against placing a disproportionate amount of emphasis on the opt-in versus opt-out debate. The author places a strong emphasis on opt-in policies but, as every consumer advocate knows, a poorly executed opt-in mechanism can be far worse for privacy than a well-developed and easy-to-use opt-out tool. It is not that difficult to encourage consumers to click a button, and if you are going to the effort to ask for consent, some may seek opt-in consent for everything.

To be certain, opt-in consent can be important and NAI requires its members to obtain opt-in consent for the use of precise location information for Interest-Based Advertising. NAI also believes that we need a thoughtful and comprehensive set of industry best practices for the collection and use of sensitive categories of data and that includes precise location information. We should have self-regulatory standards around choice, transparency, data use, data retention, and information security, and then back up those standards with compliance and accountability.

The possibilities for consumers and business alike are endless if we as an industry do this right. If we don’t do it right, not only are we are looking at a future of Congressional hearings, proposed regulations and legislation and state and federal enforcement actions, but worst of all we may lose consumers’ confidence.

Do you want to be part of the solution? Then join us!