Shortly before adjourning for the year, the Colorado General Assembly passed legislation regulating data and consumer privacy in the state. As of this writing, the measure has been sent to Governor Jared Polis (D) who is expected to either sign or let the bill become law without his signature. AAF, together with allies in the state and Washington, DC, submitted comments on the measure to lawmakers, and the AAF supported Privacy for America issued a press release stating that passage of the measure underscored the need for a uniform federal data privacy law. Because of many last minute negotiations between the House and Senate, we have not yet had the opportunity to determine how many of our suggestions were adopted.
Many more state legislatures have adjourned, officially killing proposed new privacy laws in Alabama, Minnesota, New York, Oklahoma, Texas, and Vermont. While many of the bills had already been rejected, or were considered long-shots to pass, as long as lawmakers are in session the possibility exists for a determined lawmaker to resurrect a measure or attempt to add it to other legislation.
Lawmakers in Connecticut adjourned without enacting either a new privacy bill or a digital ad tax, both of which had been under consideration. However, AAF learned that privacy provisions have been included in a budget measure (pages 80-102) to be considered during a special legislation session immediately following the general session. We have provided legislative leaders with comments addressing the issue.
The new California Privacy Protection Agency conducted its first meeting on June 13. The Agency was created by the California Privacy Rights Act a ballot initiative approved by voters on November 3, 2020. It has the administrative power, authority and jurisdiction to implement and enforce the California Consumer Privacy Act and the California Privacy Rights Act.
Much of the meeting was organizational in nature. The Agency has delayed beginning rulemaking and acknowledged the challenges ahead as many provisions of the laws are ambiguous and sometimes seemingly contradictory. AAF joined in a statement pledging to participate in the rulemaking process and reiterating our support for a uniform federal data privacy law.
To evaluate ongoing consumer awareness and perception around the “AdChoices” icon, the Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA)—in which the American Advertising Federation is a participant—conducted a survey of 1,000 US adults in February 2021. Among top-line findings are that 82 percent of respondents have some familiarity with the YourAdChoices Icon and 81 percent understand the icon broadly offers them choice and control as it pertains to advertising.
“The results of the full survey have significant implications for industry use of the AdChoices Icon and point to broad opportunities to use it for enhanced privacy disclosure across web sites, apps, ads, and other platforms,” reports Lou Mastria, CIPP, CISSP, DAA’s executive director.
Additionally, the survey found broad consumer interest in using the icon as an access point for all information related to data collection and use, not just information about interest-based advertising. This shows the attachment consumers appear to assign what has become a ubiquitous symbol on the Internet as thousands of brands have used it to provide access to information and show their support for responsible advertising practices set forth in DAA Principles. While this survey was conducted among a US audience, it is supported by similar findings in surveys conducted across other markets by our sister organizations, such as in the Europe and Canada and it mirrors earlier surveys DAA and others have published.
The full study report is available for download here.
As the digital advertising industry continues to evolve, DAA is also working to ensure that its time-tested Transparency and Control Principles, as well as its supporting choice tools, continue to meet the needs of industry and consumers as digital advertising forges ahead.
To meet the need for consumers to receive transparency and control over data used to tailor ads, DAA is working to offer several new enhancements to its choice tools, beginning with its AppChoices mobile app that controls data collected for interest-based advertising (IBA) across iOS and Android mobile applications, such that brand advertisers and their supply chain partners can achieve transparency and control in this new era.
As the marketplace moves away from cookies, DAA will continue to leverage the existing, widely deployed “AdChoices” icon as a gateway for information about transparency and control at the Web site, mobile app and in-ad level. DAA plans to supplement that transparency with an additional layer of visibility and control in a new feature in AppChoices: a new “Token-based opt-out/revocation” feature and user flow. DAA is providing an updated opt-out tool to participating companies as an additional way to effectuate consumer opt-outs, or revocations of prior consent, to certain digital advertising activity.
For companies that use “tokens” (sometimes referred to as “hashed” email address) as an identifier for their digital advertising services, the updated opt-out/consent revocation tool will be one way that a consumer can request to opt-out or withdraw consent to IBA data collection. The opt-out/consent revocation would apply to participating companies that engage in such advertising using an email-based token consistent with the DAA Self-Regulatory Principles and Guidance.
This new option will be included in a forthcoming AppChoices release set for this summer, and is already under development. This will complement the current identifier-based choices (opt-out/withdrawal) AppChoices already provides via operating system mobile advertising identifiers.
The new service contemplates that companies (both those already integrated into AppChoices and new ones) would be able to choose to participate in the service to help make a commitment to user privacy apparent—to their advertising partners, and to consumers—by choosing to be listed in this new user flow. By submitting their email address through the DAA tool, consumers will be able to opt-out or revoke consent for the use of their email address as a token for IBA by participating companies for DAA-covered advertising purposes.