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NAI’s Staff Brief Members on Groundbreaking Work

It’s been quite a month for NAI. We’ve been able to demonstrate to the industry and privacy community why we are the leading self-regulatory association dedicated to responsible data collection and its use for digital advertising. Last week on our blog, we showcased another example of the depth of the NAI Board’s practical and in-depth knowledge of both privacy issues and the ad industry, with four NAI leaders participating as faculty in a one-day PLI program titled, “Tracking and Targeting Customers and Prospects.” The previous week, the blog highlighted NAI’s participation in the International Association of Privacy Professionals’ Digital Advertising & Privacy conference (IAPP).

This week, it was time for the NAI staff to shine and showcase their knowledge to NAI members. More than 70 members joined NAI Board Chairman Doug Miller (who is also Vice President and Global Privacy Leader at AOL), NAI President Marc Groman, and the NAI staff for an all-NAI member call. The purpose of the call was to update NAI members on the ground-breaking activities currently being undertaken by the staff.

The agenda was jam packed with important updates provided by NAI staff.  Highlights included:

  • NAI Counsel and Assistant Director for Policy Jurgen Van Staden provided an update on NAI’s Beyond Cookies Working Group. This group has been meeting to create a draft policy document that would provide guidance for NAI members on the use of non-cookie technologies for interest-based advertising (IBA) and making them compliant with the NAI Code, especially the principles of transparency, control, and accountability. Working Group members volunteered many hours over the past year to work through challenging issues with the goal of defining a framework that would allow members to use stat ID/non-cookie technologies for IBA.

    Jurgen announced that the draft policy document containing this framework is available for review by members. He said that the draft is a thorough, practical, balanced, implementable, and enforceable framework that would allow NAI to green light the use of stat IDs in a responsible, Code-compliant manner. Central to the proposed beyond cookies framework is the development of a new opt-out page that can facilitate the policy requirements contained in the draft guidance document.

    Jurgen told the members that there is still much work to be done on the framework, including addressing legal issues. He is planning a series of webinars and in-person meetings with NAI members to provide additional information and to obtain input from the membership. 

  • NAI General Counsel Noga Rosenthal then briefed the membership on the 2014 compliance program. She thanked the membership for their cooperation in submitting the necessary information for the NAI Compliance Team to review each member company. Participation in the NAI Compliance Review is mandatory for all NAI members. The NAI compliance process relies on a variety of reviews and assessments by NAI staff, including the use of an automated technical tool that monitors the functioning of member opt-out mechanisms, as well as an evaluation of members’ public-facing materials like privacy policies. NAI staff spent hundreds of hours reviewing member responses to detailed annual review questionnaires about compliance with the NAI Code of Conduct. These reviews are coupled with interviews with each evaluated member, conducted by at least two NAI staff members.

    Noga told the membership that the staff is drafting the 2014 Compliance Report and reminded members that enforcement of the Mobile Code will start next year.

  • Next, NAI’s Counsel and Assistant Director of Technology and Data Science Shaq Katikala provided members with an overview of NAI’s new compliance technical monitoring tool. The compliance tool provides a more comprehensive view of the online activities of our members by looking at opt-outs, relevant data collection practices, and privacy policies. This tool is designed to detect opt-out errors on desktop browsers, mobile browsers, mobile apps, and other platforms. Using proprietary technology, it will be capable of producing insights on nearly all major forms of online data collection. That includes not just cookies, but location data, personal directory data, client-side storage, and active statistical identifiers. It also includes an integrated privacy policy scanner, which helps spot changes to members' business models and practices that may raise potential compliance questions.

    Shaq said that this new technology allows NAI to have a 360-degree view of members’ business practices. The technology was built in-house. NAI President Marc Groman described the new software as a “game changer” for the self-regulatory industry in the use of technology to monitor compliance.

  • NAI Vice President for Member Services & Business Development Bruce Morris then provided the membership with an overview of the upcoming NAI Board of Directors elections. He announced that the Board will be expanded to 15 from its current 12 members. Members who are interested in joining the Board should contact Bruce at Bruce@networkadvertising.org.
     
  • NAI Chief Operating Officer Ryan Cliche announced the date for the 2015 Member Summit: May 21, 2015, in New York City. This will be the third annual Summit, an event that attracts leaders in the industry who care about innovation, state-of-the-art digital advertising, high standards, and best practices for the third-party online ecosystem. If you are interested in participating in the Summit Planning Working Group or would like to propose a session to present, please email Ryan at ryan@networkadvertising.org. Those who are interested in sponsorship opportunities should contact Bruce Morris at Bruce@networkadvertising.org.
     
  • Ryan also announced that work is almost completed on NAI’s new consumer education website that expands our focus beyond web browsers and cookies. New content and graphics will be ready in the next couple of months.

As you can see, NAI has a lot on our plate for the next several months. We are very excited about the future and are proud of the innovative and proactive approach that the organization is taking. We are showing the world that effective self-regulation works!