Self-Regulatory Online Behavioral Advertising Principle No. 3: Consumer Control

Last month we promised to provide you with a bit more detail regarding each of the self-regulatory principles that form the basis of the Self-Regulatory Online Behavioral Advertising Principles, announced by the Association of Advertising Agencies, the Association of National Advertisers, the Direct Marketing Association, and the Interactive Advertising Bureau, in concert with the Council of Better Business Bureaus. The principles are intended to provide a framework for industry participants to adopt, implement and adhere to standards of conduct applicable to their online behavioral advertising practices. Seven basic principles are contained in the report, and Legal Bytes is briefly summarizing each one, although we urge you to read the full report.

We previously reported on the Education and Transparency principles; those links in the outline below will take you to the summaries, or you can read the overview posted when we reported on the initial release of the Self-Regulatory Online Behavioral Advertising Principles.

For reference, here are the seven enumerated principles:

Today, Keri S. Bruce highlights the Consumer Control principle that relates to the practice recommended by the report of providing consumers with additional control over whether data is collected about them and whether it is shared with others. The principle applies to third parties that collect or use behavioral advertising data and the websites from which the data is collected. The principle also applies to “service providers” (i.e., parties that provide Internet access services, toolbars, Internet browsers or comparable services, and who are engaged in online behavioral advertising). Through notices that are described under the Transparency principle, with respect to third parties and websites, consumers should be able to control the use and collection of their personally identifiable information by opting-out of having data collected or shared with non-affiliate websites. With respect to service providers, because they potentially can, by the nature of the services they provide, gain access to all or substantially all online behavioral data of a particular user when that user is online with or through the service provider, the Consumer Control principle requires industry participants to follow practices that require consumers to opt-in to data collection for online behavioral advertising purposes by the service provider. Further, even after consent is given, service providers must provide a means for the consumer to withdraw her or his consent.

Thanks to Keri S. Bruce for her analysis. For further information, you can also call me or the Rimon attorney you regularly work with. Stay tuned for summaries of the remaining principles.