Not being prepared for privacy legislation could be financially disastrous for your agency. TRUSTe sheds light on upcoming privacy bills and explains how it can help.Bob Bahramipour, vice president of business development for TRUSTe, knows all about online behavioral advertising (OBA). With more than 4,000 clients, TRUSTe is the largest OBA provider in the industry. In his Spotlight presentation at the Bonita Springs Agency Summit, Bahramipour explained that seven of the top 10 advertisers are TRUSTe clients, and every one of them understands that privacy is a unique issue that can't be ignored.
Privacy issues extend across all platforms, and as concerns continue to grow, limits are being put on OBA. As legislation gains momentum in the federal sphere, states are quietly moving to pass more draconian bills. One California bill under review allows consumers to sue if they feel their online privacy was violated.
"At the federal level, if it's politically expedient to beat the privacy drum, you can bet that it's happening at a state level," Bahramipour said. "How are we going to manage one state's aggressive law?"
Fortunately, privacy bills mirror many of the self-regulatory policies already in place within the industry. Companies working within the Digital Advertising Alliance's (DAA) program -- which includes the creation of a compliance icon and the designation of enforcement bodies -- are much more primed and protected from future privacy laws.
TRUSTe has a DAA platform, so its clients are automatically compliant. Bahramipour explained that this doesn't have to be complex. With TRUSTe's help, clients are able to piggyback a "tiny extra thing" onto all of their ads through the entire ecosystem.
Bahramipour used the company's work with Allstate as an example. "We created a DAA-approved OBA compliance solution of Allstate's complex creative and trafficking needs," he said. And while this was challenging because of strict brand creative requirements and a high number of ads with significant variations, TRUSTe was able to meet the creative objectives as well as manage all ad server integration and icon placement.
Agencies need to create an OBA privacy action team and educate their clients on OBA compliance, Bahramipour said. TRUSTe can help with this education, as well as aiding clients in licensing the DAA icon, setting up a trial, and having everything operational in a few weeks or less. In addition, it can recommend a comprehensive privacy approach based on each client's unique needs.
"The last place you want to be is solving a problem that is rooted in a much broader problem you can't solve," Bahramipour said.
Lucia Davis is associate editor at iMedia Connection.
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