Submitted by Anthony Matyjas... on August 17, 2015

In 2013, NAI released its first Mobile Application Code in order to clarify how the principles of the 2013 NAI Code of Conduct, including Notice and User Control, applied in the growing mobile “Cross-App Advertising” ecosystem.

As technology rapidly evolves, NAI enables our members to be industry innovation leaders by consistently updating our Codes of Conduct to address new needs. For example, we recently issued a 2015 update to our Code of Conduct.

Following on that 2015 Code update, NAI has today released the 2015 Update to the Mobile Application Code (“App Code”) in order to incorporate many of the changes in the 2015 Code update and apply them to the mobile advertising ecosystem. This updated App Code does not add new substantive requirements for member companies, but rather it clarifies existing obligations.

For example, the update to the App Code provides clarifications regarding member requirements when engaging in Cross-App Advertising activities based on sensitive health conditions and when engaging in retargeting ads in mobile applications. Interpretations of these requirements were previously included in the commentary to the original NAI Mobile Application Code and the commentary to the 2013 NAI Code of Conduct. As was done through the 2015 Code update, this information is now present in the body of the App Code itself. In this way, the App Code now more closely mirrors the updated NAI Code of Conduct and NAI continues to apply consistently high principles for privacy in both web-based and app-based targeted advertising.

The 2015 App Code will go into effect on September 1, 2015. However, NAI will provide an implementation period for its members, and will not begin full enforcement until January 1, 2016. In the coming weeks, NAI staff will provide a series of webinars to educate members about the requirements of the 2015 App Code. Additionally, through the end of 2015, member companies will be able to undergo voluntary compliance reviews of their “Cross-App Advertising” activities, and NAI staff will hold informal conversations with members to better prepare them for compliance with the 2015 App Code. Beginning January 1, 2016, NAI will begin full enforcement of the 2015 App Code.

We are excited about this App Code update which brings NAI’s high standards to the latest emerging technologies. This step is continued evidence of NAI’s lasting commitment to strong self-regulation to protect consumer privacy while helping business thrive. We encourage our members to reach out to NAI staff with any questions or comments.

Submitted by NAI on July 2, 2015

By Ari Levenfeld

In the few weeks since the close of this year’s NAI Summit, I have had the opportunity to reflect on the event and I’d like to share a few thoughts about my experience.

The Summit left me reinvigorated and amazed by the collective work we’re doing to advance the causes of effective digital advertising and enhanced consumer privacy through self-regulation. I was astounded at NAI members’ combined creativity and commitment to innovation and I was impressed by the energy and expertise that a wide range of representatives brought to the panels, discussions, and presentations.

This year’s Summit highlighted the pace at which technologies evolve and the industry’s response thereto. The presentations demonstrated that the NAI is successful because our Code of Conduct represents meaningful self-regulation that keeps pace with our industry’s constant evolution. I was reminded that our work will only become more relevant and significant when Department of Commerce General Counsel Kelly Welsh stressed that the digital economy plays a pivotal role in fostering growth and creating jobs. And when technical innovations were demonstrated - for example, when Jurgen Van Staden explained the centralized opt-out application during the Beyond Cookies panel – I was reminded of our organization’s consistent thought leadership.

So much of this year’s Summit centered on innovation, including panels dedicated to the digital landscape beyond cookies, the privacy considerations for cross-device identification, and the interconnectedness fostered by the Internet of Things. (I have to admit that I’m still not able to look at my electric toothbrush in the same way after that last panel!) The Summit showed that the same companies whose existence is predicated on their ability to solve complex technological problems that didn’t even exist a decade ago are also able to provide substantial solutions to today’s privacy challenges.

Going forward, I know that NAI will continue to work with its members to explore and invest in policies and initiatives that provide meaningful transparency, notice, and choice in ground-breaking ways to consumers. As the Summit showed, these policies and initiatives take shape at NAI as the technologies they’re meant to support emerges, not after lawmakers and regulators demand them. Self- regulation works because we hold ourselves to a higher standard and force ourselves to tackle the hardest problems first.

Ari Levenfeld is the senior director of privacy and inventory quality at Rocket Fuel, Inc.  He is a member of the NAI board of directors.

Submitted by leigh.freund on June 5, 2015

As we wrote last week, NAI Summit 2015 was a huge success!

Having joined NAI in March, this was my first Summit as CEO. A few reactions: I was encouraged by the extremely high energy throughout the day-long event. I was impressed by the commitment our member companies have shown and continue to show to NAI and our programs. I was pleased to see that NAI is respected by policymakers and is perceived as a leading organization making the right decisions. And I was inspired because I know NAI is not afraid of moving forward and making big changes. Here are a few of my takeaways from the Summit:

  1. Effective self-regulation means evolving along with innovative new technologies that promote creativity and drive the Internet economy. NAI is pushing ahead. In the last month, we’ve released an update to our Code of Conduct and guidance for Beyond Cookies. We’re constantly looking forward to emerging technologies and working on measures that can help our member companies continue to lead innovation in digital advertising.
  2. Self-regulation is working! Regulators and legislators can trust our industry to be responsible, nimble, flexible and privacy-minded. Influential government officials from the Federal Trade Commission and the Commerce Department have noted that the expansion of the digital economy has a major, positive impact on economic growth and that government and that industry will need to work together to ensure that business can excel responsibly.
  3. Cross device offers exciting new opportunities, but also raises complex issues of law, technology, and policy. This emerging technology exists in somewhat of a policy vacuum – and it is right in NAI’s wheelhouse to solve! Our Beyond Cookies guidance is a good first step toward bringing transparency and rigor to bold new technologies, and we’re looking forward to convening our member working group to help advance the cause.
  4. Global harmonization in privacy and self-regulation is a goal for NAI member companies and others working on digital policy. When data can flow openly and securely across borders, the global economy thrives, creating jobs and enhancing trade.
  5. The evolving Internet of Things fosters a useful, intimate connection between people and the technologies they depend on every day. This connection can make work and play more personalized and more efficient. NAI can help drive strong privacy programs to improve lives and protect data.

Do you have a takeaway from the 2015 Summit you’d like to share? Tweet it using #NAISummit or post it on Facebook.

Submitted by NAI on May 28, 2015

We are pleased to report that the 2015 NAI Summit was a great success!  The day-long event featured five panel discussions on timely and wide-ranging topics (See the full agenda here) as well as a keynote presentation from U.S. Department of Commerce General Counsel Kelly Welsh.

To begin the Summit, NAI CEO Leigh Freund offered a reflection on the recent achievements of NAI from releasing the 2014 Compliance Report to updating the NAI Code of Conduct and rolling out the Beyond Cookies Guidance.  She said, "The updated Code and Beyond Cookies Guidance demonstrate that self-regulation doesn’t have to hold business back.  Rather, they show that NAI is constantly striving to help our members continue to lead innovation in digital advertising."

Leigh also noted the value of self-regulation saying, "NAI is flexible, nimble and agile – making us able to quickly respond to changes in a constantly evolving technological landscape.  NAI is a model for how an industry that best knows itself can best regulate itself."  Finally, she offered a view for the future.  She said, "We are an organization that tackles the complex privacy issues facing our members by working with you to accomplish several goals: first, understanding your evolving business models and technologies; second, considering what privacy concerns need to be addressed; and third, determining the best way to craft policies that are both meaningful and feasible to follow. 

The full transcript of Leigh's remarks can be found below.

Following Leigh's opening remarks, Jeanette Fitzgerald, who is EVP, general counsel & chief privacy officer at Epsilon took the stage.  Setting the scene for the Summit discussions she said, "For the past 15 years, the NAI has shaped the self-regulatory landscape for third-party digital advertising companies and will continue to do so as we are faced with new challenges."  She continued, "The NAI is uniquely positioned to help us overcome these challenges. When the NAI speaks, it does so using the combined voices of those leaders in our industry. When the NAI speaks, it does so with industry-specific guidance tailored to the industry needs and developments. When the NAI speaks, it helps us all move forward in a unified, responsible manner."

The full transcript of Jeanette's remarks can be found below.

One of the highlights of the Summit was the keynote address from U.S. Department of Commerce General Counsel Kelly Welsh.  Kelly spoke about the tremendous benefits, but also risks of big data today. He said, "Under Secretary Penny Pritzker, the Department has made fostering the digital economy central to our mission to promote innovation, growth, and jobs."  He continued, "As NAI members know well, the rapid expansion of the digital economy contributes significantly to economic growth."

Stay tuned to our blog for more from the 2015 Summit.  And check out #NAISummit on Twitter to see photos and other content from the event.