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Mobile Targeted Ad Enforcement to Begin This Summer

The Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA) recently announced two new mechanisms that will allow consumers to manage ad preferences on their mobile devices. (We summarized the new mechanisms in an Alert.) These new consumer opt-out tools, which are intended to complement the existing opt-out mechanisms that are part of the DAA's self-regulatory program for online targeted advertising, complete the DAA's self-regulatory program for the mobile environment and set the stage for the enforcement of the program, which is expected to begin this summer.

During a recent webinar, Genie Barton, VP and Director of the Better Business Bureau Online Behavioral Advertising Program and Mobile Marketing Initiatives, provided some clarification about the mobile guidelines and the Accountability Program's priorities.

Ms. Barton encouraged companies to contact the Accountability Program if they have questions about complying with the mobile guidelines. She said the program will not bring a formal compliance action against a company that consults with the Accountability Program about a compliance issue.

She also reminded companies that the collection of precise location data and personal directory data requires prior consent. Personal directory data includes contacts/address book, calendar, phone/text log, and photos and videos created by the user. Precise location data is data that is sufficiently precise to locate a specific individual or device, such as longitude and latitude. It does not include a zip code, or street and city combination. The collection of precise location data also requires enhanced notice.

According to Ms. Barton, there are many options for providing notice and choice, including mobile device operating systems and app marketplaces, as long as these options meet the DAA criteria for obtaining and withdrawing consent. She also emphasized that notice and choice mechanisms must work on small screens.

Ms. Barton expects early enforcement actions to focus on the basic requirements of the mobile guidelines as well as the notice and consent requirements relating to precise location data and personal directory data.

This report is a publication of Loeb & Loeb LLP and is intended to provide information on recent legal developments. This report does not create or continue an attorney client relationship nor should it be construed as legal advice or an opinion on specific situations.