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Marketers face Sept. 1 deadline on DAA mobile ad guidelines

Brands and companies that use data across sites or mobile applications for interest-based advertising must comply with Digital Advertising Alliance principles by Sept. 1, as the DAA ramps up its push to provide consumers with transparency and choice regarding ads and data collection.

The guidelines, to be enforced by the Council of Better Business Bureaus and the Direct Marketing Association, include the use of such mobile-specific strategies as cross-application data, precise location data and personal directory data. The start date comes on the heels of the DAA?s launch early this year of a mobile privacy application and a Web page that offer consumers more choice in controlling the interest-based ads they see in the mobile environment. 

?For advertising in the mobile environment to reach its full potential, consumers must have confidence that companies are providing the same level of privacy protection as they do on desktop browsers,? said Lou Mastria, executive director of the Digital Advertising Alliance, a New York-based industry group.

?The DAA's proven self-regulatory approach provides robust information, tools and standards for consumer privacy protection, as well as independent oversight from two of the industry's most respected organizations.?  

Taking action
The CBBB and DMA will work with violators to help them satisfy the DAA principles.

Depending on the issue, the CBBB and DMA may also take additional action, from publicly explaining the nature of the compliance issue and its resolution or referring the company to the Federal Trade Commission or another regulatory authority for further action. 

To date, 43 compliance actions have been publicly announced by the DAA accountability programs.


AppChoices.

In February, the DAA launched two new mobile tools for consumers: AppChoices and the DAA Consumer Choice Page for Mobile Web. Both tools are based on the same principles underlying the DAA?s existing Consumer Choice Page for Web browsers. 

AppChoices is a free downloadable app that allows users to set their preferences for data collection and use across apps for interest-based advertising and other applicable uses.

The DAA Consumer Choice Page for Mobile Web is an updated, mobile-optimized version of the desktop Consumer Choice Page already used by millions of consumers that offers web-based choices for mobile sites.

The DAA was created to implement cross-industry, independently enforced self-regulation of online interest-based advertising and data collection across digital platforms. 

Its principles aim to notify and give consumers choices about data collection and use when they interact with interest-based mobile ads. They apply to all sectors of the ecosystem that use mobile interest-based ads, including carriers, apps, ad networks, brands, agencies and publishers.

Companies with questions regarding their compliance obligations and the enforcement process can contact the Council of Better Business Bureaus at or the DMA at .

In addition to internal review processes, the CBBB and DMA also offer a compliance mechanism through which consumers, businesses, or other stakeholders can report practices that may violate the Mobile Guidance or Self-Regulatory Principles.

Transparency and choice in the serving of mobile ads has become a higher-profile issue as the number of apps and mobile-optimized Web sites surge. 

In October, a survey conducted by Zogby and commissioned by the DAA found that Americans continued to prefer free, ad-supported mobile applications to those that cost money.

Of respondents in the DAA?s survey of 1,015 United States adults who downloaded apps, 58 percent preferred free, ad-supported apps to those that required some form of payment, either at download or in-app, the survey found. 

A year ago, in a potentially big step toward providing a more consistent privacy experience for consumers on mobile, the DAA issued guidelines for how to display its icon on mobile platforms

Building trust
Extending the DAA?s accountability program into the mobile application space and creating new Web- and app-based tools will help build trust for brands, publishers and their advertising ecosystem partners as they responsibly engage with consumers.

Responding to calls for data-collection protection.

?If a consumer believes that a company is not respecting those choices or has concerns that a company may be violating the DAA principles in the mobile environment, the consumer can register a complaint through the CBBB or DMA Web site,? Mr. Mastria said. ?The CBBB or DMA will fully and independently investigate every complaint.?

Final Take
Michael Barris is staff reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York