Understanding
Online Advertising

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is It?
What is Interest-Based Advertising (IBA) (sometimes called "online behavioral advertising" or "cross-site advertising")?

Interest-based advertising uses information collected across multiple websites to predict your preferences or infer your interests and to show you ads that are more likely to be of interest to you. MORE ›

What is "personally identifiable information"?

Personally Identifiable Information (PII) includes name, address, telephone number, email address, financial account number, government-issued identifier, and any other data used or intended to be used to identify, contact, or precisely locate a person. The NAI Codes provide disincentives to the use of PII for IBA/CAA. As a result, NAI member companies generally use only information that is not PII for IBA/CAA and do not merge the non-PII they collect for IBA/CAA with users' PII.

What is "non-personally identifiable information"?

Non-Personally Identifiable Information (Non-PII) is information that is not, on its own, used to identify, contact, or precisely locate a particular individual. Used for Interest-Based Advertising or Cross-App Advertising by NAI member companies, this data consists primarily of click-stream information (sites you have visited or links you have clicked) that, when using HTTP Cookies, is tied to a randomly generated anonymous identifier.

Is personally identifiable information used for Interest-Based Advertising or Cross-App Advertising?

As a general rule, IBA/CAA does not depend on information that personally identifies you, such as your name, e-mail address, phone number, photographs, etc. Rather than using personally identifiable information, most IBA/CAA that uses randomly-generated numbers to match your web browser or mobile device with interest categories. In some cases, personally identifiable information is used to bring interest categories online, but NAI member companies take measures to keep personally identifiable information separate from online browsing activities.