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Digital Advertising Alliance argues online privacy is all about choice

Kenneth Corbin | Nov. 6, 2013
New polling from the Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA) highlights the importance of guidelines to limit Web companies' online tracking.

DAA Will Focus on Education and Developing Its Own Do-Not-Track Effort
At the same time, when the pollsters asked what guidelines respondents believed are currently in place for advertisers' collection of users data, just 12.6 percent identified the contours of the DAA's program in the multiple-choice survey.

Mastria acknowledges that that finding suggests that group has more to do to get its message out to the public — and the DAA is planning to refresh its public outreach campaign in the coming months — though he stresses the youth of the program and sees even the modest awareness of just over 10 percent as a success.

"To have that number there, I think that's pretty good in three years. Any brand would be pretty lucky to have that recognition in that short a time," he says. "We're not done. Our education component isn't done."

Education is only one element of the DAA's work. The group has also been deeply involved with the efforts to develop a common framework for a do-not-track setting in Web browsers.

Then in September, the group announced that it was severing ties with the working group established by the World Wide Web Consortium to develop a do-not-track standard.

According to Mastria, the W3C has been focused on developing a technical solution to what he sees more as a policy issue, and that after two years with little progress to show, the DAA opted to launch its own effort to build a consensus around how do-not- track should work.

"We have to have a pretty high level of certainty that we are going to get somewhere, that we are going to put out a product," Mastria says of the W3C's work. "We just didn't see that in the offing."

The DAA has already convened one meeting with various stakeholders in its new do-not-track initiative, and Mastria says that he hopes to unveil a framework for the standard within the next few months.

Asked why he believes that the DAA-led effort can succeed where the W3C working group could not, Mastria replies: "That's a fair question. And honestly that's something we talked about."

But he points to the DAA's track record of pushing out codes of conduct that a broad array of advertisers have signed onto, which the group is now expanding to include the mobile Web.

"That's what gives me confidence," Mastria says. "We've done this before, and we can do it again."

 

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