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Understanding
Online Advertising

Glossary

  • Ad Delivery and Reporting (ADR)

    Ad Delivery and Reporting (ADR) is separate and distinct from Tailored Advertising, and it refers to the collection or use of data about a browser or device for the purpose of delivering ads or providing advertising-related services, including, but not limited to: providing a specific advertisement based on a particular type of browser, device, time of day, or real-time precise location; statistical reporting, traffic analysis, analytics, optimization of ad placement; ad performance, reach, and frequency metrics (including frequency capping); sequencing of advertising creatives; billing; and logging the number and type of ads served on a particular day to a particular website, application, or device. ADR does not include data collection and use for security and fraud prevention. If data collected through ADR is later used to tailor advertising based on interests known or inferred from such data, such use shall be treated as Tailored Advertising under this Code. 

     

  • Advertisers

    These companies pay to have their advertisements placed on websites or apps. For example, Ford would be the advertiser in a display ad for a Ford Mustang you might see in the auto section of a newspaper. The Coca-Cola Company would be the advertiser for a Sprite banner ad.

  • Advertising

    A tool used to get people's attention and to get people to do, buy, or believe something. Advertising helps brands engage with their customers and potential customers. Advertising subsidizes websites’ delivery of rich content, innovative tools and services used by consumers and businesses to connect and communicate.

  • Browser

    A web browser is the software program you use to retrieve and view webpages and other content on the Internet. The most popular browsers today are Google's Chrome, Mozilla's Firefox, Microsoft's Internet Explorer, and Apple's Safari. These programs are free to download, and users may have more than one browser on their computer or other device. In general, third-party advertising companies associate interest categories or audience segments with a particular browser -- not with a person -- to serve ads. 

  • Cookie

    A cookie is information (a small text file) that a site saves to your computer using your web browser. Cookies enable personalization of your web experiences. For example, a cookie may allow sites to record your browsing activities - like what pages and content you've looked at, when you visited, and whether you clicked on an ad. Cookies can help sites remember items in your shopping cart, your log-in name, or your high game scores. Cookies are typically exceedingly small (less than the size of a file containing a sentence or two) and take virtually no space on or slow down your computer.

  • Cross-App Advertising (CAA)

    Cross-App Advertising (CAA) is the collection of data through applications owned or operated by different entities on a particular device, or the use of such data, for the purpose of tailoring advertising based on preferences or interests known or inferred from the data collected. 

     

  • De-Identified Information

    Data that is not linked or intended to be linked to an individual, browser, or device.

     

  • Device-Identified Information (DII)

    Device-Identified Information (DII) is any data that is linked to a particular browser or device if that data is not used, or intended to be used, to directly identify a particular individual. DII may include, but is not limited to, unique identifiers associated with browsers or devices, such as cookie identifiers or advertising identifiers, and IP addresses, where such data is not linked to PII. DII includes data that is linked to a series of browsers or devices associated through Cross-Device Linking, if that data is not used to directly identify a particular individual. DII does not include De-Identified Information

  • Domain

    A domain is a user-friendly name that represents an IP Address or similar online location. This is similar to referring to “Joe’s House” instead of saying, “123 Park Ave.” For example, networkadvertising.org is a domain representing a website located on the IP Address 198.101.192.213 (as of the date of this writing).

  • Exchange

    An ad exchange is a technology that facilitates automated, real-time auctions for online advertising. Publishers sell open ad spaces on websites to advertisers in real-time - it happens incredibly fast, just as a web page is loading. The matching of advertisements with ad spaces is similar to the "stock exchange" in the stock market, with buyers and sellers negotiating prices that fluctuate in real-time. Because the entire transaction is automated, it is an efficient process for publishers to sell their inventory without a huge sales team and for advertisers to buy ad spaces or impressions.

  • Interest-Based Advertising (IBA)

    Interest-Based Advertising (IBA) is the collection of data across web domains owned or operated by different entities, or the use of such data, for the purpose of tailoring advertising based on preferences or interests known or inferred from the data collected. 

  • IP Address

    An IP address (Internet Protocol Address) is an address to a computer, device, or online service. It may look like this: 198.101.218.235. This is how computers are able to identify each other and know where to send information over the Internet. In general, your computer or other device is assigned an IP address from the network you are using, and that's then used to send the website data back to your web browser. A similar process is used when your phone to connect to the internet via Wi-Fi of mobile networks. Your computer or phone's IP address may change over time or as you change locations.

  • Mobile Advertising Identifier

    Most modern mobile devices (iOS 6, Android 2.3, and Windows 10 and above) provide mobile advertising identifiers. These are randomly-generated alphanumeric codes that are associated with your device that often come with options to reset the identifier and opt-out of Cross-App Advertising. These identifiers have different names depending on the operating system. For example, they are called Google Advertising ID (GAID) on Android devices whereas on iOS, they are called Identifiers for Advertisers (IDFA). They are included to provide advertisers a method to identify your devices without using a permanent device identifier, like your phone’s serial number.

  • Opt-In Consent

    Opt-In Consent means that an individual takes some affirmative action that manifests the intent to opt in.

  • Opt-Out Mechanism

    An Opt-Out Mechanism is an easy-to-use mechanism by which users may exercise choice to disallow Tailored Advertising with respect to a particular identifier, browser, or device.

  • Personal Directory Information

    Personal Directory Information is calendar, address book, phone/text log, photo/video data (including any associated metadata), or similar data created by a user that is stored on or accessed through a device. 

  • Personally Identified Information (PII)

    Personally-Identified Information (PII) is any data linked, or intended to be linked, to an identified individual, including name, address, telephone number, email address, financial account number, and non-publicly available government-issued identifier. 

  • Precise Location Information

    Precise Location Information is data that describes the precise geographic location of a device derived through any technology that is capable of determining with reasonable specificity the actual physical location of an individual or device, such as GPS-level latitude-longitude coordinates or location-based radio frequency signal triangulation. 

  • Publishers

    The individual or organization who creates and delivers online content or services such as a website or app. Publishers generate income for their websites by showing advertisements on the sites or apps. The websites you visit and apps you use work with NAI members and other advertising companies to provide you with advertising that is as relevant and useful as possible.

  • Real Time Bidding (RTB)

    RTB is an auction for online advertising. Advertisers place bids on the opportunity to show an ad on a web page. The "real time" part means that it happens very quickly -- in milliseconds -- at the moment a page is loaded.

  • Retargeting

    Retargeting is the practice of collecting data about a browser’s or device’s activity in one unaffiliated web domain or application, or the use of such data, for the purpose of customizing an advertisement in a different, unaffiliated web domain or application, or on a separate covered device. 

  • Sensitive Information

    Sensitive Information includes: 

    • Social Security Numbers or other non-publicly available 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, conditions predominantly affecting or associated with children and not treated with over-the-counter medication, mental health-related conditions, and sexually transmitted diseases (the condition or treatment is sensitive regardless of the source); and 

    • Information, including inferences, about a user’s sexual orientation.

  • Third-Party Cookies

    Cookies set by the websites you visit are typically “first-party” cookies. The sites you visit may work with ad networks or other service providers to help provide content or services, including advertising. Those partners also use cookies. But because these partners place cookies using their own web domains, they are called “third-party” cookies. NAI members, working with publishers, use third-party cookies to make advertising more engaging to users and more valuable to publishers and advertisers.

  • Web Beacon

    A web beacon enables two websites to share information. A web beacon consists of a small string of software code that represents a graphic image request on a web page or email. There may or may not be a visible graphic image associated with the web beacon and often the image is designed to blend into the background of a web page or email. Web beacons can be used for many purposes - including site traffic reporting, unique visitor counts, advertising auditing and reporting.