Advertising makes possible much of the content on the Internet. Online advertising revenue allows publishers to provide consumers with nearly unlimited information, at no cost, or at far lower costs than would otherwise be possible. Online behavioral advertising (“OBA”) works more efficiently than other forms of online advertising, thus allowing more free content to be provided by publishers and fewer ads to be seen by consumers. However, the complex business-to-business data collection and sharing practices between Web publishers and advertising networks raise some valid questions. The NAI was formed to address these concerns through the creation and enforcement of the NAI Code. The NAI was also tasked with providing consumer education about online advertising and the technology behind it. As a means of promoting trust in their online advertising practices, NAI member companies are held to a strict code of conduct, governing their ability to collect and use data for OBA purposes as well as the transparency and choice they must provide to consumers.
The NAI expanded rapidly over the last several years, and we now have over 80 member companies. As our membership, and consumer awareness of the NAI have grown, the NAI has undertaken several initiatives to increase accountability and transparency in the industry. As we look to 2012, the NAI intends to continue our efforts to increase transparency and accountability, and to remain fully involved in discussions focused on responsible use of data. This includes engaging with all stakeholders in the online advertising ecosystem, including policymakers, regulators, consumer groups, and privacy advocates. Our goal is to ensure that our member companies are at the forefront of transparency and privacy while employing sustainable business practices. Please keep an eye out for our upcoming release of the 2011 Compliance Report, where we will announce the results of our third annual NAI member compliance review along with some initiatives planned for the coming year.
-Anthony Matyjaszewski, NAI Associate Counsel, Compliance and Technology