TRUSTe Preference Manager

By Jannette Cabardo

Online Behavioral Advertising is an online activity wherein ad companies collect behavioral data so advertisements can be tailored to consumer preferences. Technologies such as beacons, cookies and tracking pixels are used for such activities.

Most companies that are engaged in OBA have opt-out mechanisms where users can say no to the collection of personal information. Opting out from these ad-related activities will stop the online collection of individual’s behavioral data thus no tailored advertisements will be delivered. As a solution, TRUSTe offers Ads Compliance Manager where users can opt-out from known ad companies.

How does this work? TRUSTe has a core data team that maintains data validity and makes sure the opt-out mechanism for each company is up-to-date. This evaluation is done on a regular basis.

When looking into the opt-out mechanism of each company, the data team tries to see if there is an API that can be used so TRUSTe can integrate. The team looks for commonly a GET or POST method URL

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In the case TRUSTe isn’t able to integrate due to the absence of an API or is in process of integrating the custom opt-out mechanism available, TRUSTe provides a link to the privacy policy or to the landing page where the opt-out mechanism is found. In these cases, TRUSTe will contact the ad companies and work with them in order to integrate an opt-out mechanism.


Why do some opt-outs fail? There are several instances when a call to company’s API fails. When this happens, a link to the privacy policy or opt-out landing page is still available so users can continue to opt-out.

pm_6The server on the ad company side does not respond to the request. When TRUSTe does not get any response from the ad company’s server during the specified time threshold, an error message will be returned. Sometimes, the server responds when opting out the second time. So we encourage users to try again.

Internet connectivity is slow thus no opt-out process will be completed.  No opt-out process is being done and the error message will be displayed.

TRUSTe is currently committed to specific versions in the following browsers: Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Safari and IE. There are opt-outs that do not work on specific browsers. When a certain opt-out does not work on a supported browser, TRUSTe redirects the users to the privacy policy page or the landing page. As part of the periodic maintenance, our data team reaches out to these specific vendors.

If you have any feedback regarding this solution or would like to integrate with TRUSTe, please email jannette.cabardo@truste.com.