#CyberFLASH: Canadian mobile ad tracking standards need work, industry regulators admit

computer-laptop-keyboard-852While a recent Advertising Standards Canada (ASC) report concluded the industry was successfully implementing new standards for online behavioural advertising (OBA), it also revealed a notable gap: the current lack of industry regulations regarding mobile advertising, “which is not currently encompassed under ASC’s AdChoices Accountability Program,” the report said.

Only three of the 115 privacy complaints regarding OBA, also known as Interest-Based Advertising (IBA), that ASC received from consumers between January 2015 and November 2015 involved mobile applications, but the Digital Advertising Alliance of Canada (DAAC) is planning to implement rules that will govern the mobile market before that number can grow.

“What we’re trying to do is bring the opt-out tools from the program over in the U.S. to Canadian users, to sort of fill out the program,” DAAC executive director Julie Ford says.

“Right now you might see the [AdChoices] icon here and there on a mobile device, and that’s usually bleed-over from the U.S. program,” she says. “There’s a little bit of guidance that we need to formulate around how the icon can be displayed in Canada.”

One reason it’s taken so long for the DAAC to develop Canadian OBA standards for the mobile market is that its American equivalent, the Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA), has only been covering mobile applications since September 2015, Peter White, senior vice president of ASC, says.

“It is the next area of interest in the U.S.,” he says. “But it is also a work in progress… a matter of getting everything in place to understand what is required from apps, because they are significantly different from browser-based advertising.”

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