Greater consumer transparency and control in mobile advertising

Blog posted by Nick Stringer
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The US Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA) has published guidance on how its self-regulatory guidelines for targeted advertising apply to the mobile environment. Nick Stringer, Director of Regulatory Affairs at IAB UK, outlines the importance of these in the UK and Europe.

The US Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA) has published new guidance on how its self-regulatory principles for targeted advertising apply to mobile, including cross-application, precise location and personal contact directory data. These guidelines are the result of many months of cross-industry work in the US, and they demonstrate businesses’ continued commitment to improving transparency and control in targeted advertising.  

The new US guidance also has wider implications:

  1. It opens the door for improved global consistency, helping to overcome the current fragmentation of mobile privacy regulation (as illustrated in the IAB UK Mobile Ad Privacy map). This will benefit mobile users as well as businesses.
  2. The application of the US DAA principles to mobile shows the adaptability of the framework to new technologies, platforms and business models.

In the coming months, IAB UK will work with businesses, stakeholders and other IABs across Europe to review the US DAA’s principles and explore something similar and consistent for EU and EEA markets, building on the existing EU self-regulatory initiative. This step will serve the needs of mobile users across Europe as well as respond to regulators’ calls for greater transparency and control of mobile advertising privacy.

As noted by the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) during a privacy panel at Mobile Engage in May 2013, public expectations about mobile privacy are flexible and ambiguous. In this dynamic context, self-regulation based on principles rather than processes is the best mechanism to preserve and enhance consumer trust. This approach also has the potential to overcome the geographical limitations of national or regional regulation. This is good news for consumers and businesses alike: effective self-regulation can provide a seamless privacy experience across borders and technologies.

Read IAB UK’s Q&A to find out more about the US DAA guidelines on mobile advertising and what it means for EU markets.

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