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WFA Manifesto for Online Data Transparency

We recognise that as brand owners it’s vital that we get it right when it comes to people’s data.

/ Introduction

Globally, however, the evidence shows that the way data is collected and used by some industry players has played a large part in reducing people’s trust in online advertising.

Data has become increasingly integral to the process of creating, targeting and delivering digital advertising. Nevertheless, people have a fundamental right to privacy and, for the industry to have a sustainable future, we need to recognise that and recalibrate the way we use data for the sake of the consumer.

We believe that there is a sustainable future for the online advertising industry built on respect for people’s data and that gives them real transparency to help them decide where, when and how they share their data.

We are making the following commitments on data:

  • Strong governance – we will strive to implement robust and dynamic policies and processes to reflect the ever changing way data is used and that consumer data is:
    • Ethically and transparently sourced.
    • Securely stored with appropriate assurances and mechanisms, including audits.
  • Data minimisation – We will adopt a mindset of data minimisation with a view to collecting, using and holding only the data that is necessary to deliver a quality advertising experience.
  • Consumer control and choice over their data – We will create user experiences that give people transparency, control and choice over how their data is shared and used for online advertising, in line with these seven principles:
  1. Make it visual
  2. Keep it short and simple
  3. Make it as intuitive as possible
  4. Don’t annoy me
  5. Let me change my mind
  6. Make it easy
  7. Tell me what you’re going to do
  • Active management of the data supply chain – We demand accountability and transparency throughout the data supply chain in order to always have a clear view of what data is being collected and how it is being used by our suppliers. We expect our data supply chain partners to uphold the same high standards we set for ourselves when it comes to:
    • Giving people full control over when, where and how they share their data.
    • Giving people clear, simple information about how their data is being used.
    • Making it easy to opt out.
    • Complying with both the spirit and the letter of relevant self-regulatory and regulatory frameworks.

We call on the online advertising industry to embrace a fundamental shift towards an ecosystem built on trust, control and respect for people’s data – including players with less transparent methods of collecting and/or using consumer data.

WFA, as the only global organisation representing marketers, will advocate for change and drive action at both company and industry levels.

  • WFA will provide a platform for companies to exchange best practices and inspire others to adopt a mindset of people first over data first;
  • WFA will advocate responsible data practices within our industry, challenge and expose existing practices, champion innovation and embrace proportionate regulatory frameworks which put people’s privacy first.

WFA believes that a future in which consumers have full transparency, choice and control over their data will lead to greater trust in online advertising, more sustainable brand-consumer relationships and better marketing.

To drive this vision forward, WFA will convene an Advisory Board of global industry leaders to work with WFA’s Digital Governance Exchange (DGX) to help define an evidence-based action plan drawing on insights and learnings from consumers themselves.

Contact us

For more information or questions, please contact Catherine Armitage
at c.armitage@wfanet.org.