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The NAI Code of Conduct

The NAI Code of Conduct

The NAI Code of Conduct is a set of self-regulatory principles that require NAI member companies to provide notice and choice with respect to Interest-Based Advertising and Ad Delivery and Reporting activities.

On December 4th, 2017 the NAI published the 2018 Code of Conduct. The 2018 Code merges the 2015 Update to the NAI Code of Conduct with the 2015 Update to the NAI Mobile Application Code, which perviously existed as two separate documents, and also includes references to NAI Guidance documents published over the past 3 years, including Cross-Device Linking.

The 2018 Code revises some existing terminology, but it is not intended to introduce any material changes or create any new obligations for NAI members. NAI staff will begin enforcing the 2018 Code on January 1, 2018.

In 2013, the NAI released the 2013 Code of Conduct, which significantly revised and updated the NAI's self-regulatory framework. In May 2015, the NAI released an update to the Code (that can be accessed here) that intends to clarify certain obligations present in the 2013 Code of Conduct and the accompanying commentary in response to questions received by the NAI staff from members.  To be clear, the updated Code is not adding new substantive requirements for member companies.  The Update to the Code of Conduct went into effect as of June 1, 2015.  The 2013 Code of Conduct remained in effect until May 31, 2015.

The Code addresses the types of data that member companies can use for advertising purposes and imposes a host of substantive restrictions on member companies' collection, use, and transfer of data used for Interest-Based Advertising.

Traditionally, these activities were conducted using HTTP cookies. However, as new technologies emerge additional guidance may be needed to help clarify how the requirements of the Code apply to these new technologies. In May 2015, the NAI released its Guidance for NAI Members: Use of Non-Cookie Technologies for Interest-Based Advertising Consistent with the NAI principles and Code of Conduct (Beyond Cookies Guidance). Please see our Non-Cookie Technologies FAQ for more information.

The NAI Code mandates that member companies provide users a means to opt out of Interest-Based Advertising. The NAI provides an opt-out tool -- a simple web-based utility that allows users to opt out of receiving targeted ads from member companies. Integration with this tool requires member companies to provide consumers a means to opt out of Interest-Based Advertising via HTTP cookies.

To help ensure that members abide by the NAI Code, the NAI has a robust compliance program, including sanctions mechanisms. Find out more about our enforcement program here. To file a complaint about a member, click here.

Additionally, the NAI also released our Mobile Application Code, a self-regulatory code of conduct to cover the collection of data across mobile applications. Please see our Mobile Application Code page for more information.

Click here for answers to the following questions about the NAI Code.

  1. How does the NAI Code of Conduct work?
  2. What version of the NAI Code will be in effect in 2018?
  3. Does the Code cover business practices on mobile devices?
  4. What is the purpose of the commentary to the Code?
  5. How detailed should my privacy policy be in describing my data collection and use practices?
  6. There are already new developments that are not covered in the NAI Code. Doesn’t this create a major gap in your program?
  7. When was the NAI Code last revised?
  8. Who can enforce the NAI Code?