Digital Advertising Alliance Extends Opt-Out Program to Mobile Apps

Another Move to Keep Washington Policymakers At Bay

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The organization behind the AdChoices button -- the little triangle on digital ads which lets you opt out of tracking -- is expanding its capabilities to mobile apps.

The Digital Advertising Alliance is doing so with the release of a new app today, which it's calling AppChoices.

"Originally it was just about desktop web," said DAA Executive Director Lou Mastria of his organization's mission. "We've evolved."

The app allows consumers to opt out of data collection for use in interest-based advertising. Eighteen ad-tech companies are participating, including RocketFuel, OpenX and Oracle's Bluekai.

The DAA's in-app program will be far less powerful than its desktop version, at least at the outset. The DAA's desktop program includes 122 companies. Mr. Mastria said the DAA wanted to start the program with a small group of early adopters to test out use cases.

The other challenge will be getting consumers to actually download such an app. The organization plans to market the app through its AdChoices button, which Mr. Mastria said is now served on ads at a rate of 1 trillion times a month globally -- though it's unclear how many people notice those ads, much less the AdChoices button (or they know what it means even when they do).

He said the app may be promoted with an interstitial ad when users click the AdChoices button.

Mobile apps present a challenge for tracking and opting out given that cookies do not work within their walls. Mr. Mastria said the in-app technology will therefore rely on Ad-IDs instead of cookies. "In the app world it's slightly different but the technology does hold up," he said.

The DAA is the creation of a number of ad industry trade groups for the purpose of self regulation. The companies that take part in its program are doing so in hopes that self-regulation will keep Washington policymakers out of the advertising business.

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