EDAA Summit – European Insights on the Self-Regulatory AdChoices Program

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EDAA kicked off its inaugural summit last week in Brussels. The event brought together over 150 industry stakeholders including program participants, global association representatives and industry regulators. The full-day agenda covered a wide range of topics from policy to implementation of the ad choices program at a global level.

Canada’s situation from a global perspective as it pertains to Privacy policy, is an interesting and complex one. While we have a lot of cross-boarder industry partners from the US where privacy is not as strictly regulated, our PIPEDA regulation more closely resembles the European model. This makes it important for us as Canadians to keep up with European updates in the event that we might one day follow suit.

Robert Madelin, Senior Innovation Adviser at the European Political Strategy Centre (EPSC) opened the session with an important “reset” message on how we must tread lightly on the ever-changing consumer mindset in a world that continues to shift due to varying uses of data. Madelin had a clear two-part message for the industry and its self -regulatory program: 1. Consumers must be respected with transparency in keeping with society’s accelerated level of innovation through technology and 2. Consumers must be given control to choose their participation in matters pertaining to their own data.

In observance of Madelin’s described mandate, there was a lot of optimism for the Ad Choices program and the traction it has seen over the past 5-7 years as the program strives to deliver specifically on both fronts (transparency and control). There are 159 European companies registered into the program across 33 European markets in 27 languages to date. Lou Mastria, Executive Director of the DAA indicated that there were 170 US participants to the program while Julie Ford, Director of DAAC who was representing Canadian efforts, reported 69 enrolments in Canada.

The issue of program compliance was brought up on the global panel, which is relevant to Canadians as the ASC have just completed the first DAAC compliance report since the roll-out of the program in Canada. Linda Nagel, CEO of ASC and Peter White, Senior Vice President, ASC were there to distribute the actual report, which was met with great enthusiasm by our European counterparts.

It was clear that there was work to be done around the world. Some of the tasks that lay ahead for all three programs (EDAA, DAA and DAAC) include driving greater awareness of the program for consumers, smoothing out compliance and most recently, embarking on the Mobile Ad Choices and App Choices roll outs. The mobile program has been launched in the US and is expected to roll out in Canada over the next year.

IAB Canada would like to congratulate Nick Stringer, Chair of the EDAA as well as Oliver Gray, the Director General of the EDAA for pulling together an engaging summit.

IAB Canada is working locally with the DAAC and IAB program participants to help consolidate feedback, ease the cost of compliance and help monitor the state of opt-out rates in Canada.

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