Meet the Leading Players in the Privacy Ecosystem: Lou Mastria, Digital Advertising Alliance

Over a hundred organizations are responsible for shaping the future of data privacy. In this new series we’ll profile some of the organizations that are helping to shape the massive privacy ecosystem through the eyes of the professionals that work there and learn more about their perspectives on privacy. 


What is your organization’s role in the privacy ecosystem?

The Digital Advertising Alliance was created to give consumers better information and control over the use of data for interest-based advertising. The DAA sets and enforces standards for the advertising ecosystem through our Self-Regulatory Principles for Interest Based Advertising, and we give consumers simple access to information about and control over data collection use for interest-based ads through the blue “Your Ad Choices” icon on ads, sites and increasingly apps.

By doing so, we provide a robust self-regulatory regime that strengthens the ad-supported digital ecosystem and helps drive innovations in the delivery of online and mobile content and services. Originally founded by six trade associations in the United States, DAA has expanded through parallel sister organizations to 34 nations in 26 languages.

The DAA icon, in particular, provides an intuitive and ubiquitous ad marker and links that supplement privacy policies. From this icon, consumers are given enhanced notice and reliable access to choice controls.

The DAA Icon is now served globally more than 1 trillion times per month, and the DAA choice pages receive an average of 10 million unique visitors per year. TRUSTe is one of two “approved providers” of DAA programs in the U.S. – providing a turnkey solution for brands, agencies, publishers and ad tech firms to consider for DAA Principles implementation.


What key goals/issues is your organization focused on tackling?

Our goal is a consistent user experience – no matter what screen the consumer may be using. We are working to create that consistent framework on devices (DAA’s Consumer Choice Page, Consumer Choice Page for Mobile Web, and AppChoices for cross-app data collection choice) so we can continue to build trustworthy experiences for consumers and companies to rely on with regard to online data collection and advertising.


How have your organization’s goals/focus changed over the years to address evolving technologies or challenges?

The DAA constantly monitors changes in technology, consumer attitudes and behavior, and advertising ecosystem practices to ensure our program adapts to those shifts in a technology-neutral manner.

For example, we recently issued mobile guidance to show marketers how to apply DAA Principles for interest-based advertising and multi-site data (including cross-app) collection in the mobile environment. The guidance served to identify responsibilities of both first parties and third parties for enhanced notice and control, addressing specific data categories such as cross-app data, and providing a higher level of consent with regard to precise location data and personal directory data. These responsibilities will be enforced by our two U.S. enforcement partners – Council of Better Business Bureau’s Advertising Self-Regulation Council and Direct Marketing Association – beginning September 1, 2015. Both CBBB and DMA are independent enforcers of these precepts in the marketplace.

Another example is the video area, where DAA is close to announcing ad marker specifications for video interest-based ads.


DAA & BBB Guest Speakers at TRUSTe Webinar on Compliance for Mobile & Desktop Advertising

Keeping compliant with the latest privacy regulations, tools and best practices is critical in order to avoid fines and reputational damage, while saving your privacy team time and money. For this most recent webinar, we turned our focus to the advertising space.

TRUSTe hosted a webinar with guests from the Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA) and the Better Business Bureau (BBB) on Monday, March 9. The hour-long webinar titled, “2015 Compliance for Mobile and Desktop Advertising” was moderated by Kris Vann, Senior Product Marketing Manager at TRUSTe, with speakers Kevin Trilli, VP of Product at TRUSTe, Genie Barton, VP and Director, Online Behavioral Advertising Program and Mobile Marketing Initiatives at the Council of Better Business Bureaus (CBBB), and Lou Mastria, the Executive Director at the DAA.


Majority of Smartphone Users Concerned About Tracking, But Increasing Opt-Out Awareness Could Boost Trust


Smartphone users don’t like the idea of being served targeted ads on their smartphones – at least, for now. New survey results from Ipsos on behalf of TRUSTe show that 68% of US smartphone users are concerned about the possibility of having their activity tracked to serve them targeted ads.

Study after study has shown that smart device users, as well as the majority of people connected to the Internet in some way, don’t like being tracked without their knowledge or consent, and have concerns about privacy. But this could change in the near future.

This survey also showed that an increasing number of people are aware of the AdChoices icon, which is part of the Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA) Self-Regulatory Program for Online Behavioral Advertising (OBA). Now, 37% of people are aware of this icon – a notable increase from 21% in the previous year. It’s very possible that as more consumers become aware of the AdChoices icon and realize that ads with this symbol let them opt-out of tracking, that consumer trust in ads will increase. This also underscores the importance for advertisers to be transparent and allow user control and consent when it comes to sharing information.


The survey also showed that one in three (33%) said the information available on AdChoices, along with the OBA opt-out option, would make them feel more positive about the concept of targeted ads. TRUSTed Ads gives consumers more control over their online ad experience by allowing them to opt-out of targeted ads via the DAA AdChoices icon.

See the full press release here. And join TRUSTe, the DAA and the Better Business Bureau for our upcoming webinar on March 9th – 2015 Compliance for Desktop & Mobile Advertising.

Deep Dive into the DAA’s Application of Self-Regulatory Principles to the Mobile Environment

Rick Armstrong, Senior Product Marketing Manager

TRUSTe’s insights into DAA’s mobile regulatory guidelines along with DAA-complaint TRUSTed Ads.

Online Behavioral Advertising (OBA) has expanded from desktop and into the realm of mobile and tablet devices.  As a result of this evolution, privacy concerns are on the rise.  TRUSTe issued 2 new consumer research reports this year, the Consumer Privacy Confidence Report (1) and the Consumer Data Privacy Study—Mobile Edition (2), which found that:

  • 7 out of 10 smartphone users are more concerned about their privacy on smartphones than 1 year ago (1)
  • 7 out of 10 consumers do not like the idea of being tracked on their mobile devices (2)
  • Nearly 8 out of 10 consumers will not download an app that they don’t trust (2)


TRUSTe Powers Billions of Privacy-Safe Mobile Ads

Melissa Pereira
Corporate Communications Director | TRUSTe


Today, we announced more than a dozen new customers have selected TRUSTed Mobile Ads as their mobile advertising privacy management platform of choice.

TRUSTed Mobile Ads is the industry’s first and only comprehensive mobile advertising privacy management platform. Launched earlier this year, the TRUSTed Mobile Ads solution has now reached significant scale and serves more than one billion privacy-safe mobile ads. The suite of products and technologies helps marketers who are striving to invest in digital marketing as their global customers spend more time online and with mobile devices.

“TRUSTe commends the entire advertising community for its early adoption of privacy best practices for mobile,” said Chris Babel, CEO for TRUSTe. “As evidenced by our research, consumer mobile privacy concerns are rising and outpacing other online markets. TRUSTed Mobile Ads addresses the top challenges for the mobile ecosystem by educating consumers about how interest-based mobile advertising works from the start and giving them the choice to manage their preferences – right from their smartphone or tablet. By building trust for emerging technologies, TRUSTed Mobile Ads provides a critical bridge between new and innovative advertising opportunities and consumer concerns.”

The ability for businesses to target audiences with meaningful and relevant messages is still in its infancy for several reasons. Firstly, the ecosystem is fragmented with multiple systems. Secondly, consumers lack insight and awareness of preference management solutions and how they provide access to persistent ad preferences and controls. TRUSTed Mobile Ads unifies these disparate pieces of the ecosystem to provide an easy-to-use solution for businesses to share with consumers to understand privacy and their rights when it comes to individual choice and informational notice. (more…)