25th - 26th SEPTEMBER 2019  |  OLYMPIA

IAB releases CCPA framework as privacy law deadline looms

Ad Age 05 Dec 2019 11:44

Just three weeks shy of the California Consumer Privacy Act taking effect, the Interactive Advertising Bureau finalized a framework to help solve the problems brands, ad tech vendors and publishers will face when using ad-targeting or publisher data in programmatic advertising.

Beginning January 1, citizens from the Golden State can control whether brands and ad tech companies can sell or use their personal data. Every page of every website will feature opt-out buttons, and the choices consumers make will impact how digital ads are bought and sold. 

“How do we encourage compliance and at the same time allow the market to function,” Michael Hahn, senior VP and general counsel at the IAB, says. “Every privacy lawyer is working around the clock right now” to make sure compliance is achieved, he adds. 

The first problem is that ad tech vendors—such as those that operate in the programmatic space—don't have a direct relationship with consumers who visit websites. As a result, vendors won't know whether certain information was shown to the consumer and, whether that consumer opted out from having their data sold. “When the consumer opts out that’s when there needs to be real material change in regards to what happens to their data,” says Hahn.

The framework suggests that publishers inform stakeholders, including ad tech vendors, about consumer choices so they can be in compliance.

The other problem, Hahn says, is what happens when the consumer decides not to opt out. “When they express their choice not to opt out, we provide the signals to onward the sale of information so the types of activities [companies] are doing today on behalf of advertisers” can continue, says Hahn. 

California passed CCPA in June of last year, leaving little time for the industry to prepare. Hahn says creating the framework was an “enormous undertaking” due to the sheer effort required to gain industry consensus from brands, vendors and publishers to name a few. “It was a long road,” he says. “Drafting a contract receiving input from numerous attorneys throughout the ecosystem takes a lot of time to do in a consensus way.”  

The IAB began working on the framework last April and a draft was released for public comment in the fall, says Hahn. There was a “high level of awareness and engagement by the industry,” he says, because such little time was provided under the law to get up to speed with implementation. 

“It is going to have a real impact on the digital ad ecosystem,” Hahn says of the CCPA. “It is a reflection of the consumer’s desire in how their personal info is used, and the parameters that the Legislature included in CCPA is going to fundamentally change that.”

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