Canada develops self-regulatory program for OBA


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The ACA has launched the Digital Advertising Alliance of Canada (DAAC), working with industry partners including Advertising Standards Canada (ASC), the Canadian Marketing Association (CMA), IAB Canada and Institute of Communication Agencies (ICA), to establish responsible business practices in the digital age.

Following the roll-out of similar initiatives in the US and Europe, the DAAC will oversee a new self-regulatory program for Online Behavioural Advertising (OBA). OBA involves the collection of users' data related to their online activities in order to provide better targeted advertisements.

The DAAC has developed a framework that sets out a series of principles for the collection of users' data in a manner that is consistent with applicable Canadian privacy laws and the core elements of the global self-regulatory principles for online OBA. Under the program, similar to self-regulatory programs in US and Europe, online ads are served with an “ad option icon” that indicates to the consumer that behavioural data is being used for advertising purposes and provides transparency and control over the use of that data.

The key set of Principles for this program include:
1. Educating consumers about OBA;
2. Notice/Transparency by companies that participate in OBA,
3. A User Control requirement which will enable web users to opt-out of OBA;
4. Data Security and data retention requirements; and
5. A specific provision related to the treatment of Sensitive Information.

The DAAC program includes an accountability component that will be managed and operated by the existing advertising self-regulatory body, the ASC – which will be responsible for establishing monitoring, complaint, compliance and transparency processes.

The program includes a dedicated website, /, which went live on September 5, 2013. The site provides details for Canadian consumers about how they can opt-out of OBA, and how they can report a complaint. It also provides information for companies on how they can participate in the program, and how companies can register to display the AdChoices/Choixdepub icon.

Self-regulation for OBA is managed in Europe by the EDAA and in US by the DAA.

For more information on the Canadian implementation of OBA self-regulation, contact the ACA.

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