The great debate: consumer data privacy

Is one of the thorniest issues in public policy today and is too sensitive to be left in the hands of any one particular entity (publisher, marketer or otherwise). In the closing session at the IAB ALM, the traditional debate-style panel tackled this hot button issue

Moderated by Kate Kaye of AdAge

Panel members:
Tom Chavez - CEO Krux
Pam Dixon, Exec Director, World Privacy Forum
Marc Groman, Exec Dir and GC, NAI (Network Advertising Initiative)
John Simpson, Consumer Advocate, Consumer Watchdog
Mark Zagorski, CEO, eXelate

"Do not track initiative" is at a standstill and Microsoft's DNT tool by default has be ignored by the industry. If the industry does not want DNT, what are the options we are offering consumers?

Marc: industry is not opposed to additional mechanisms or browser based mechanisms. Notice, choice and enhanced controls are welcome. The proposals on the table and the framework that has been set is troubling. We haven't identified the problem we are seeking to solve and did not think through unintended consequences such as disproportionate advantages to some competitors in the market. So - what is the solution? self regulation with high standards and serious reinforcement. The FTC should play an important role in this. Industry needs more education for consumers and adopt/develop more enhancing technologies. We need scalable solutions that are practical and important to the issues we are seeking to address.

In a recent Evidon study it was reported that there has been a significant growth in tags/cookies tracking users. Many companies have partnerships that require cookie syncing and publishers may not be aware of the tag complexities this creates for publishers even potentially impacting site performance

MarkZ: we need more transparency on the state of tagging and cookies. The number of cookies and pixels growing should not be something people are concerned about. Cookies are growing because of the additional data used to benefit consumers and publishers. Pixels for content optimization, pixels for better data analytics; site metrics, etc. All this new information is enriched with these additional cookies/pixels.

There have been recent example in which PII was leaked through AOL and Netflix data breaches. The Ad and Online industry are do not have standards for anonymization. Why?

Mark: Data security is fundamental to the NAI code just like we look at reliable sources requirements and data retention requirements. NAI does not allow members to join prior to agreeing with privacy compliance and controls.

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