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Digital Media, Technology & Privacy Alert >> Enforcement of DAA Cross-Device Guidance to Begin on February 1, 2017

November 3, 2016

The Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA) has announced that enforcement of its cross-device guidance will begin on February 1, 2017.

As we discussed in our Alert last November ("New DAA Guidance Emphasizes Applicability of Transparency and Control to Cross-Device Advertising Practices"), the DAA has set forth guidance over the years for data collected on a specific device as well as guidance for the use of multi-site data.

In November, to address how its existing Self-Regulatory Principles for Online Behavioral Advertising apply where multi-site data or cross-app data are collected from and linked between more than one browser or device for use on multiple computers or devices, the DAA issued its initial cross-device guidance, "Application of the DAA Principles of Transparency and Control to Data Used Across Devices."

As we also discussed in our November Alert, the DAA's cross-device guidance explains that the transparency and choice obligations in the DAA’s existing Self-Regulatory Principles apply to cross-device data practices.

The DAA guidance suggests steps that advertisers should take to enhance transparency and highlights the use of "clear, meaningful, and prominent" links as a means of disclosing information. It also points out that the consumer choice obligations under the existing Self-Regulatory Principles apply to:

  • The collection of multi-site data on the browser, or cross-app data on the device, on which choice is being exercised, for use on another computer or device that is linked with the browser or device on which the choice is being exercised;
  • The use of multi-site data or cross-app data on the browser or device on which choice is being exercised when that data was collected on another computer or device that is linked with the browser or device on which choice is being exercised; and
  • The transfer to a non-affiliate of multi-site data and/or cross-app data collected from the browser or device on which choice is being exercised.

Under the DAA guidance, once a user opts-out of the collection and use of data through one of the three control mechanisms above, data collected or used through that method may not be used for behavioral advertising purposes on such browser or device, as applicable. However, the guidance specifically clarifies that this level of control does not address choice with respect to an entire device graph. As a result, users may need to exercise an opt-out on multiple browsers or devices to completely eliminate all retargeting from an individual provider.

The Enforcement Deadline
Now, the DAA has announced that its cross-device guidance will be independently enforced beginning on February 1 by the Council of Better Business Bureaus (CBBB) and the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), which provide ongoing independent oversight of the DAA Principles. In a statement, DAA Executive Director Lou Mastria explained that this enforcement date “sets a common marker for the industry to achieve compliance with the DAA cross-device guidance, so consumers have access to more uniform notice around cross-device practices and know their choices on each browser or device are honored.”

The Bottom Line

Industry members that engage in data collection and use covered by the DAA Principles but that have not yet fully complied with the DAA cross-device guidance should take careful notice of the February 1 deadline and should upgrade systems, policies and practices now so that a consumer’s choice can be honored, if they have not yet done so.