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A Quick Look Back Before Looking Forward

2023 is starting with a bang! We’re only five days into the new year and are already seeing significant regulatory actions that will change our industry’s data practices in foundational ways. The proposed fines levied against Apple and Meta by European data protection authorities in this first week of 2023 are likely to force companies to re-evaluate their data use practices for targeted advertising. We’re already looking ahead to the NAI’s work to help companies with these likely changes in 2023, but want to highlight the many incredible successes for the NAI and its members in 2022 that set the stage for what’s to come:

Early in 2022, NAI President & CEO Leigh Freund joined the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (“NTIA”) to discuss solutions to issues concerning privacy and civil rights in their Virtual Listening Session on Personal Data. The NAI also commented to the NTIA on the Report on Competition in the Mobile App Ecosystem. We recommended a balanced approach to privacy and competition, focused on eliminating harmful or unexpected outcomes from data use and collection.

In late April, NAI staff and members convened in Brooklyn, New York, for the 2022 NAI Summit on Privacy, Trust, and Accountability: The Foundation for Ad Tech’s Future, where participants from across our industry had the opportunity to discuss, network and learn from speakers and peers who are leaders in privacy and digital advertising. We loved getting to meet our members and friends, familiar and new, whom we previously could not due to COVID! We followed this amazing event up later in 2022 with the NAI Meetup @ Brand Safety Week in Manhattan. Members got another chance to meet up and have lively discussions about what new technologies, laws, and consumer expectations around privacy mean for the present and future of digital advertising.

In May, the NAI legal and policy staff, in consultation with representatives from member companies, developed the Best Practices for User Choice and Transparency. This resource serves as a guide for member companies so they can better understand the use of dark patterns and implement the best practices provided to avoid them. The threefold purpose of this document was to explain consumer choice and transparency obligations under the NAI Code, examine the current legal environment at the state and federal levels, and identify best practices while guiding companies in maximizing effective and efficient notice and choice mechanisms with respect to collecting consumer data.

In June, NAI VP of Public Policy, David LeDuc joined the Colorado Privacy Act (CPA) Pre-Rulemaking Listening Session and emphasized the importance of collaboration with other state enforcement agencies to ensure that new requirements are harmonized with those of other states. He also offered recommendations for how Colorado can best implement the CPA’s requirements around opt-out mechanisms. The NAI also submitted comments on Colorado’s Proposed Draft Rules in November.

In late June, we launched the Precise Location Information Solution Provider Voluntary Enhanced Standards. Three leading location data companies – Cuebiq, Foursquare, and Precisely PlaceIQ – signed on to make this higher-level commitment to privacy for consumers’ location data. These Enhanced Standards create restrictions on the use, sale or transfer of location data correlating to Sensitive Points of Interest for NAI members that voluntarily commit to them.

Throughout 2022, the NAI also sent comments to a large collection of state and federal regulators and legislators. Recently, we submitted comments to the FTC Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, calling on the FTC to integrate self-regulation by the digital advertising industry into any rules created by the agency’s ongoing regulatory process around privacy. We also commented on their petition to begin the said rulemaking back in January, highlighting that tailored advertising is a key driver of the robust and competitive digital media marketplace.

The NAI has also been greatly involved in the work to improve the California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA) throughout its life cycle. David joined the CPPA for a stakeholder session to provide input prior to the development of draft implementing regulations for the CPRA. Both in August and again in November, the NAI called on the California Privacy Protection Agency to amend their proposed regulations regarding the use of Opt-out Preference Signals, which could be used to unfairly disadvantage businesses across the ecosystem if not deployed effectively.

NAI members received top-flight educational programming throughout 2022, including many helpful webinars and summits. Many members recently attended the NAI members only webinar on Assessing Key Priorities for CPRA Implementation Across the Digital Ads Industry. This was just the first in a series of informational webinars and discussions focused on the CPRA and other new state laws coming into force in 2023. Not only was it incredibly educational, but also provided members with the chance to earn CLE credits. Click the link above to view the recording and be sure to join us next time!

At the NAI, we always work to promote a healthy, robust online ecosystem by maintaining and enforcing high standards for data collection and use in advertising online. We had a productive and eventful 2022, and look forward to continuing to collaborate, network, and engage with our members and the digital advertising industry in 2023 to champion responsible data collection and use.

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