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NAI Releases Results of 2011 Compliance Review

Today, the NAI released its 2011 Annual Compliance Report, the third annual report published under the 2008 NAI Code of Conduct. The results of our 2011 annual review are encouraging. Overall, our member companies continue to meet the obligations of the NAI Code and to adopt best practices even where not required by the Code. Here, we summarize a few key findings:

Happy Privacy Day from the NAI!

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.

A commitment to action

Action always speaks louder than words. The same is true for digital marketers and the advertising technology business in general. It has also always been true for the NAI. We have been, and continue to be, committed to best practices in online behavioral advertising.  That commitment is illustrated by our decision to hire Marc Groman as Executive Director and General Counsel.  We are confident in Marc’s ability to lead the NAI and its continued commitment to meaningful self-regulation, consumer education and development of privacy best practices in online behavioral advertising.

An Update on NAI Compliance

While the NAI’s work on compliance remains ongoing for 2011, we wanted to provide an update on the results of the NAI review initiated following a July blog posting by a researcher at Stanford’s Center for Internet and Society (CIS).  The posting concerned the use of a history-sniffing script by Epic Marketplace, an NAI member company.

House Commerce Committee Examines Consumer Privacy Attitudes

Last Thursday, the Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade of the House Energy & Commerce Committee held a hearing entitled “Understanding Consumer Attitudes About Privacy.”

Moving the Goal Posts Without Changing the Rule Book

Earlier this week a Stanford graduate student posted a blog entry announcing “preliminary findings from experimental software” about how companies participating in the Network Advertising Initiative (NAI) handle opt outs to online behavioral advertising.

Unfortunately, these preliminary findings confuse the important distinction between longstanding “Do Not Target” choices offered by online advertisers, and new browser technologies that offer users the promise of not being “tracked.”

Turning a large ship

Adopting new best practices in a large industry like online advertising can seem a little like turning a large ship. At first, to the outside observer, it may not seem like much is happening, as the changes start slowly and the ship has its existing momentum to overcome. As the ship continues to turn, however, the new course becomes clear, and it can accelerate with ever-increasing momentum.

Measuring A Glass As It Fills Up

study released yesterday by several privacy researchers outlines the authors’ efforts to assess the notice and compliance requirements implemented by the NAI and Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA) as part of our respective self-regulatory programs. The study makes a number of assertions at the margins to which we take exception, in particular the claim that some NAI members are not providing sufficient notice about their collection and retention practices for online behavioral advertising.

NAI Files Comments on Preliminary FTC Staff Privacy Report

The NAI today filed comments on the FTC Staff’s Preliminary Report, Protecting Consumer Privacy in an Era of Rapid Change: A Proposed Framework for Businesses and Policymakers. In its report, FTC Staff presented a proposed framework addressing commercial use of consumer data, and asked for comment to help guide further development and refinement of its proposal.


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