TrustArc Blog

Awareness of DAA AdChoices Icon Rises to 42%

May 09, 2016

New research findings published today, show consumer concern over online tracking for targeted ads has fallen from 65% to 61% over the last year and awareness of the DAA AdChoices icon, has risen to 42% – five points higher than last year (37%). These latest stats show the sustained growth and success of the DAA program but also what’s at stake for the digital publishing industry as 28% report they had used adblocking software in the month prior to the survey. As consumers become more aware of how they can control the types of ads they see, they are more … Continue reading Awareness of DAA AdChoices Icon Rises to 42%

TRUSTe To Develop Guidelines For Whitelisting Sites On New Disconnect Mobile App

September 08, 2014

Earlier today, Disconnect launched the first mobile app to block malvertising –and confirmed that the app is available for iOS and Android after an initial ban by Google caused public outcry. Malvertising is a major cause of identity theft and is impossible for consumers to identify because malicious tracking and malware often looks like a normal advertisement or website.  Many consumers also do not realize that just visiting a webpage containing malvertising, without even clicking anything, can put them at risk. “Disconnect Mobile offers unique threat protection at the network request level, so that users are protected across all their … Continue reading TRUSTe To Develop Guidelines For Whitelisting Sites On New Disconnect Mobile App

How Flash Cookies Left A Bad Taste In the FTC’s Mouth

November 09, 2011

John Gamble
Marketing Manager | TRUSTe


Image Credit 

Yesterday the Federal Trade Commission announced a settlement with ScanScout, an online video advertising network, over charges that the company deceived consumers about their ability to opt-out of online tracking activities. ScanScout’s privacy policy read:

“You can opt out of receiving a cookie by changing your browser settings to prevent the receipt of cookies.”

The problem? That wasn’t actually true. While one can opt-out of HTTP cookies using this method, the Flash cookies used by ScanScout to track consumers cannot be controlled via browser settings. (For more information about tracking technology like Flash cookies, check out this FTC educational article).  The FTC found ScanScout’s disclosure deceptive and in violation of the FTC Act and as part of the settlement the company is required to complete the following actions:

  1. Fix their privacy policy
  2. Display prominent notice on their homepage disclosing their tracking and linking to an opt-out mechanism
  3. Display a link within or next to all its targeted display ads that provides an opt-out mechanism

There’s been a real uptick in FTC privacy cases in the last year – most recently they’ve settled with for COPPA violations, Google over its “Google Buzz” rollout,  Frostwire for its Android App, and now ScanScout. And that’s just in the last two months! Could your company be next? Here are some takeaways from this most recent case:

You need total transparency in your privacy policy 

Leave no stone unturned in your disclosures. Avoid ambiguous language: if you’re tracking consumers then in no uncertain terms you should disclose a) how you are doing it, and b) how consumers can opt-out of it. Anything short of that invites scrutiny. Read more “How Flash Cookies Left A Bad Taste In the FTC’s Mouth”

Self-Regulation Meets Video Advertising at OMMA Global

October 10, 2011

Jalal Nasir
Director of Product Management | TRUSTe

Last week I had the pleasure of speaking at the OMMA Global Event held in NYC with Jason Shulman, VP of Ad Sales at Almost 150 people attended the session, with representatives from all sides of the ad ecosystem, including agencies, publishers and intermediaries.

The focus of our discussion was two-fold:

1)   AdChoices/self-regulation evolution
2)   AdChoices experience extension to other mediums, specifically video advertising.

It was an extremely engaged audience, and below I’ve included some highlights of our discussion:

1. Self-Regulatory/AdChoices evolution

In the past couple of months various pundits have claimed that this self-regulatory initiative won’t work or that its adoption rate will be too slow, relegating it to a “lipstick on the privacy pig” effort. Others called it a great first step toward addressing the consumer privacy equation and pointed to its growth as a success metric (3% on all display ads back in May versus 11% last month). Read more “Self-Regulation Meets Video Advertising at OMMA Global”

AdMonsters OPS Conference Goes Under the Hood

October 07, 2011

Bob Bahramipour
VP Business Development | TRUSTe

This week our TRUSTe team spread out across New York City for Advertising Week 2011 festivities. One of the highlights for me personally was AdMonsters OPS 2011, where I had the pleasure of participating in a panel discussion about ad privacy.  The panel was moderated by Rob Beeler (VP of Content at AdMonsters), and included Ashkan Soltani (Independent consultant and principal researcher for the WSJ’s “What they Know” series), and Stephen Kline (Senior Counsel at Omnicom Media Group).

Three important themes emerged during our panel conversation:

1)   Re-Defining Privacy: First, the panelists seemed to all agree that while it is important for the ad ecosystem to participate in the DAA’s self-regulatory program, an ‘icon regime’ is only a first step in addressing ad privacy issues.  Privacy issues are a sub-set of a company’s data practices and data management program (how data is collected, used, and distributed).  Therefore, beyond providing consumer privacy notification, it is increasingly critical for brands and platforms to address their broader data practices and privacy risk in their technology.  This is something we are starting to call “Data Privacy” (vs. “consumer privacy”).

2)   Data Privacy As A Competitive Advantage:  Proactively addressing consumer privacy issues through enhanced notices, icons, and opt-outs will help keep a brand or ad platform out of hot water and reduce risk.  However, as Stephen pointed out, demonstrating good data privacy can also help win new clients and actually help build a business.  For example, if a platform (e.g., ad server, DSP, exchange, etc.) can demonstrate in detail that its platform is safely collecting and using data, it is more likely for the brand, agency, or trading desk to use that platform’s technology over competitors and to build a deeper relationship (e.g., moving valuable, proprietary first-party data on to the platform). Read more “AdMonsters OPS Conference Goes Under the Hood”

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