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Case Decisions


February 4, 2013 Case Decisions

FacebookIn its response to the Accountability Program, Facebook explained that FBX was created to allow advertisers to reach their intended audience without disclosing private user profile information to advertisers or DSPs. No data is shared between companies participating in FBX and Facebook. Facebook designed FBX to ensure that its FBX partners have no access to Facebook’s user profile data and so that Facebook cannot access behavioral data collected by companies participating in FBX. Read the decision.

 


October 1, 2012 Case Decisions

Kia: Kia responded to the Accountability Program that it supports the OBA Principles and uses the AdChoices Icon on its interest-based campaigns. Further, as part of its response, Kia instructed its media agency to ensure that all ad networks involved in any OBA campaign comply with the OBA Principles. The Accountability Program is pleased with Kia’s prompt action and commends Kia for taking steps to clarify its support of the OBA Principles to its agency and ad network partners.Read the decision.
Initiative:In response to the Accountability Program’s formal inquiry, Initiative confirmed that it has acted as Kia’s media agency. Initiative also stated that it supports the OBA Principles and has taken steps to educate clients such as Kia of the self-regulatory program. Finally, Initiative stated that it is working closely with Kia to help Kia ensure that all Kia campaigns are compliant with the OBA Principles going forward. Read the decision.
Microsoft Advertising: Microsoft’s ad serving platform, Atlas, was used to deliver ads for the Kia campaign in question. However, Microsoft neither collected nor supplied data for OBA purposes for the Kia campaign; it only provided the ad serving technology. Therefore, Microsoft’s role in the Kia campaign falls outside the OBA Principles’ definition of OBA. Read the decision.
Specific Media: The Accountability Program found that Specific Media was serving interest-based ads for a Kia campaign without enhanced notice and choice. Specific Media stated that it typically uses the AdChoices icon, unless instructed to do otherwise, as it was in this case. Specific Media stated that it as a backstop it contractually requires its publisher partners to provide notice on every Web page where data is collected or an OBA ad served and that it believed that this was sufficient to comply with the OBA Principles. The Accountability Program found the practices Specific Media instructed its publisher partners to follow did not fully satisfy the requirements of enhanced notice. Specific Media has agreed to provide enhanced notice on all OBA ads in future by using the AdChoices Icon and/or ensuring that its publisher partners provide enhanced notice that complies with the Transparency Principle.. Read the decision.
Rocket Fuel: Rocket Fuel was found to be out of compliance with the Transparency Principle because it was not providing enhanced notice on interest-based ads served as part of a Kia campaign. The company explained that it provides enhanced notice on OBA ads through the AdChoices Icon, but had been requested not to do so in this instance. Rocket Fuel has committed to ensuring the AdChoices Icon is served on all interest-based ads going forward. Rocket Fuel has also undertaken to educate its sales team and clients about the benefits of compliance with the OBA Principles. The company stated that compliance on all OBA ad campaigns is company policy. Read the decision.

 
May 30, 2012Case Decisions

BlueCava: The Accountability Program decision explained that transparency and choice are not limited to traditional “cookie-based” tracking practices but also cover all technologies in the interest-based advertising space, including device fingerprinting.

BlueCava’s privacy policy did not clearly explain to the consumer that its device identification technology gave it the capability to collect and use data for OBA across multiple devices in a household.  Nor did the privacy policy clearly state whether the BlueCava consumer choice mechanism would opt a user out of data collection and use for OBA across devices or whether it was limited to the device on which the opt out was completed.  The privacy policy did not tell consumers what further steps they would have to take to opt out for all other devices they use.  BlueCava implemented the Accountability Program’s recommendations to clarify how the device fingerprinting technology worked and to explain the scope of the consumer opt out provided. Read the decision.
DataXu:DataXu’s website consumer choice mechanism set an opt-out cookie that was rendered non-functional by the absence of a domain attribute. As a result, consumers who exercised choice through the DataXu website when using the Chrome, Firefox, Opera or Safari browsers were not opted out of data collection and use for OBA purposes. Read the decision.
OxaMedia: OxaMedia was unaware of the OBA Principles. As a result, it did not follow a number of these industry best practices. Its opt-out cookie was set to expire one year from the date a consumer completed the opt-out process; it did not provide enhanced notice and choice to the consumer regarding its OBA practices when it served an interest-based ad. Read the decision.
Turn: Although Turn is an active participant in the OBA Principles, Turn’s privacy policy did not fully comply with all transparency and consumer control requirements. Notably, the Turn website did not clearly state Turn’s adherence to the OBA Principles and provide links to the industry-developed consumer opt-out page where Turn is among the over 100 companies providing an opt out for consumers. Read the decision.

Administrative Dispositions
Facilitate Digital Holdings: a provider of digital marketing technology and services, which agreed to follow the Accountability Program’s recommendation to change its opt-out cookie to the industry standard of five years but has not yet done so. Read the disposition.
Gravity: a provider of personalization tools for publishers, which has followed the Accountability Program’s recommendation and changed its opt-out cookie to the industry standard of five years. Read the disposition.
Rovion:an ad management platform for publishers and agencies, which has followed the Accountability Program’s recommendation and changed its opt-out cookie to the industry standard of five years. Read the disposition.


November 8, 2011
FMX’s opt-out was set to expire in less than six months from the date of the request. Upon receipt of the Accountability Program’s inquiry, the company stated that it would quickly change the opt-out cookie’s expiration date to the five-year time frame that is the industry standard. In addition, the opt-out process took three to four minutes when accessed from Internet Explorer. The company took steps to remedy this delay. Read the decision.  
Martini Media’s opt-out was set to expire less than six months from the date of the request. In response to the Accountability Program’s inquiry, the company stated that it would change the opt-out cookie’s expiration date to conform to the industry standard. Read the decision. 
PredictAd’s opt-out was set to expire one month from the date of the request. In response to the Accountability Program’s inquiry, the company reported that PredictAd was no longer an active brand providing services to its partners, but would nonetheless change the expiration date of the PredictAd legacy system to meet the industry standard. Read the decision.  
QuinStreet’s “Opt Out Now” buttons on four tested browsers were either missing, preventing consumers from exercising choice, or appeared as broken images that could potentially confuse consumers. Tests using the Safari browser found the “OPT OUT NOW” button to be clearly visible and the opt-out request successfully processed. In response to the Accountability Program’s inquiry, the company stated that it took immediate steps to correct the problem and ensure their opt-out button was properly displayed and functioning across each of the five browsers. Read the decision.  
Reedge’s opt-out mechanism was set to expire one year from the date of the request.  Upon notification by the Accountability Program, the company extended the duration of the opt-out mechanism to five years, consistent with the industry standard. Read the decision.

Veruta’s (MyBuys) opt-out mechanism was inaccessible to consumers through its web site due to a missing link. Upon receipt of the Accountability Program’s inquiry, the company stated that the opt-out link was inadvertently omitted during a software upgrade and that it took immediate steps to correct the problem and provide the required opt-out mechanism. Read the decision.