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. 


Submitted by NAI on May 21, 2015

The NAI Summit is taking place today in New York City.  Follow us live on Twitter @NAI and #NAISummit.