Q&A with an ASC AdChoices Program Compliance Associate

1. Why is this work important?

Globally, online advertising is becoming increasingly important to both industry and the public. Advertisers are devoting more resources to online advertisements, while countless new companies have entered the ecosystem pioneering technological solutions – especially in the online interest-based advertising (IBA) niche. All of this activity enables free online content and services for the consumer, something that most of us have come to expect when we use our computers, tablets, and phones. It is exciting to work in a space with fast-paced innovation and, at the same time, rewarding to be at the cutting edge of consumer privacy protection. IBA raises some of the foremost privacy concerns today. Allowing for progress in the online advertising industry while protecting consumer privacy requires a delicate balance that poses exciting challenges for us at ASC every day.

2. Why does the ASC AdChoices Accountability Program recommend using the AdChoices icon for Enhanced Notice?

Most players in the IBA ecosystem are global companies. Likewise, users’ online experience transcends regional and national borders. So it makes sense for industry to tackle responsible IBA with the international user in mind. A common symbol is the most efficient and effective way to alert consumers – clearly and meaningfully – that their information may be collected and used for IBA purposes. The DAAC AdChoices Program (the Program) was implemented in Canada after the self-regulatory programs in the EU and U.S., where the AdChoices icon had already gained traction. The DAAC adopted the icon as a principal feature of the Program and has observed icon recognition grow every year in Canada. When users see the same symbol appear from website to website, they come to understand it represents responsible IBA.

3. What should be in an Enhanced Notice banner?

If a First Party Participant chooses to deploy a banner or pop-up alert upon a visitor’s entry to the website, then it should be accompanied by an Enhanced Notice link in the footer of every webpage where data is collected or used for IBA purposes. In addition, the language in a banner or pop-up should communicate that data is being collected, the purpose of such collection (e.g. to provide more relevant advertising), and provide a link that takes users directly to a disclosure with a description of data collection practices as they relate to IBA and an opt-out mechanism.

4. What is the easiest part of the Program for Participants to implement as soon as they join?

Including a statement of adherence to the DAAC Principles and a link to youradchoices.ca is a great way for Participants to take action immediately after joining the Program. In the past, when we have indicated that this is missing, we have seen Participants add it to their privacy statement that same day. The adherence statement is the fastest way to show you are committed to responsible IBA in Canada and a part of a global community that is paying attention to consumer privacy.


This Q&A is taken from the AdChoices Accountability Program: 2016 Compliance Report released by Advertising Standards Canada (ASC) and is by Compliance Associate, Leore Rosmarin.