What Advertisers, Agencies, and Publishers should know about “Enhanced Notice”

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Earlier this year the Better Business Bureau (BBB) released a compliance warning noting that a significant number of website operators are not satisfying the “Enhanced Notice” requirement of the Self-Regulatory Principles for Online Behavioral Advertising (OBA).  The basic tenets of these principles, set out by the Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA), are notice and choice: give consumers notice about what information is being collected and the choice to opt-out of participating.


In contrast to a self-regulatory program like that of the Network Advertising Initiative (NAI), where the code of conduct applies only to members of the program, the DAA principles apply to the entire Internet ecosystem.  Both the BBB and DMA (the two DAA-approved accountability agents) are policing compliance with the requirements and practicing “name and shame,” by publicly reprimanding parties that are not in compliance.  A recent BBB decision called out MediaMath, 3Q Digital, and 23andMe for failing to comply.


Enhanced Notice requires that third parties (such as ad networks) and first parties (websites) work together to provide a “clear, meaningful, and prominent link” on each webpage where data is collected or used. The link should take the consumer directly to a disclosure detailing the OBA activity taking place on the website and should point to an industry-developed opt-out page (such as the DAA’s Consumer Choice Page), or individually list all third-parties engaged in OBA on the website and provide links to each of their respective opt-outs.


On pages where advertising is displayed, displaying the OBA icon on advertisements satisfies the Enhanced Notice requirement.  For instance, through a partnership with Evidon, Undertone deploys the OBA icon (as seen below) on the advertisements we deliver.





However, on webpages where third-party data is being collected independent of the delivered advertisements (e.g. an advertiser website containing a pixel for retargeting or conversion tracking), additional steps need to be taken in order to satisfy the Enhanced Notice requirement.


In these cases, notice often takes the form of a link in the header or the footer of the website.  The following wording for such a link has been approved by the DAA:

  • “About Ads”
  • “AdChoices”
  • “Why did I get this Ad?”
  • Display of the AdChoices Icon


It’s important to note that a link to the website’s privacy policy alone is not sufficient to satisfy the Enhanced Notice requirement.  The link must direct to a dedicated page that details the OBA activity taking place on the website, or it should bring the consumer to the specific section of the privacy policy that provides this information.


The BBB has announced that they will begin enforcing compliance in earnest starting on January 1, 2014.  So now is the time to act.  After all, no one wants to ring in the New Year with a public shaming.


For additional information on Enhanced Notice, the DAA Self-Regulatory Program, or Undertone’s privacy and data practices, please contact us at privacy@undertone.com

As a member of Undertone’s in-house Compliance Team, Andrew leads many of Undertone’s efforts regarding privacy and data collection/use. Andrew is a Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP/US) and focused his legal studies on information privacy and Internet law. He received his Juris Doctor from Brooklyn Law School, cum laude, and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies from The College of New Jersey.


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