Understanding
Online Advertising

WHAT IS IT?

Digital Advertising is a broad term used to describe the paid advertising that publishers put on their websites and mobile applications to enable them to provide you content and services for free. But what most people hear about is a specific type of online advertising that is tailored to your likely interests by companies promoting their products or services. This is known as Interest-Based Advertising (IBA) when it occurs across websites and Cross-App Advertising (CAA) when it occurs across apps.

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HOW DOES IT WORK?

With IBA/CAA, NAI member companies help advertisers show relevant ads -- matching ads with broad interest categories or groups like "male clothing shoppers ages 25-34" or "car buyers in Illinois."

NAI members distinguish between visitors to a site and users of an app, assigning them to broad interest category groups using information such as the types of websites or apps visited. The goal is to allow advertisers to send ads to large number of browsers or apps that might be interested in a products. For NAI members, IBA/CAA are not about you as an identifiable individual. 

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HOW DOES IT BENEFIT ME?

IBA/CAA make ads less annoying and irrelevant. Women are likely to see fewer ads about men’s shaving products and younger people may see more ads about concerts than luxury cars. By getting rid of the ads that you are unlikely to care about, interest-based or cross-app based advertising creates a more interesting and tailored online experience.

At the same time, you help support the content or service available on a website or app. According to one study, interest-based ads can provide a website as much as 200% more in revenue over ads that are not based on user’s assumed interests. This especially benefits smaller publishers, who are more likely to rely entirely on ad revenue to support a free website or app. IBA/CAA plays an integral role in driving economic growth and encouraging competition among companies.

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WHAT ARE MY OPTIONS?

Interest-Based Advertising helps support sites you visit so that you can enjoy free content from news to sports scores to recipes. At the same time, Interest-Based Advertising helps advertisers reach the right people for their product/services.

You, as a consumer, have several choices to control the collection and use of information about your web browsing activities. You are in the driver’s seat.

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Sensitive Data

Sensitive Data includes:

  • · Social Security Numbers or other government-issued identifiers;

  • · Insurance plan numbers;

  • · Financial account numbers;

  • · Information about any past, present, or potential future health or medical conditions or treatments, including genetic, genomic, and family medical history, based on, obtained, or derived from pharmaceutical prescriptions or medical records, or similar health or medical sources that provide actual knowledge of a condition or treatment (the source is sensitive);

  • · Information, including inferences, about sensitive health or medical conditions or treatments, including, but not limited to, all types of cancer, mental health-related conditions, and sexually transmitted diseases (the condition or treatment is sensitive regardless of the source); and

  • · Sexual Orientation... MORE ›