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Frequently Asked Questions

  • About DAAA
  • Principles
  • OBA Icon
  • Choice Platform
  • Licencing
  • Certification
  • Consumer Complaint Handling
  • Benefits
  • More Information

What does DMAA do?

The Direct Marketing Association of India (DMAi), operating with the trade name DMAasia & aka DMA Brandmasters, brings the global self-regulatory Adchoices program of the Digital Advertising Alliance USA to Asia and commences its rollout from India. DMAi operates the adchoices.asia website, which provides information for participants and consumers. It is responsible for the administration of the Adchoices program in Asia, enabling consumers to access transparency and choice with regard to Online Behavioral Advertising (OBA) through the display of an icon.

DMAi provides this icon to companies involved in OBA in Asia. The primary goal of DMAi is to empower consumers with greater transparency, choice, and control over their online advertising experiences while providing businesses with the tools necessary to enable that to happen.

Give me a quick overview of the self-regulatory programme.

The program is a self-regulatory initiative aimed at providing greater transparency and control to consumers in the online advertising space. This program is being rolled out in the context of the Digital Data Protection Bill of 2022 in India, which will be passed into law. DMAi aims to provide tools for businesses to comply with the bill and protect consumer privacy while empowering consumers with greater control over their online advertising experiences.

The AdChoices program is a stepping stone to start preparing businesses to be compliant, but there may be more actions required by businesses to comply with the new law fully. DMAi's adchoices.asia website provides information for participants and consumers. The program includes the display of an icon to enable consumers to access transparency and choice with regard to Online Behavioral Advertising.

What are the self-regulatory principles for the Indian OBA

The Indian advertising industry adheres to self-regulatory principles that promote transparency, choice, and control for consumers and help businesses comply with industry standards. The principles developed by DMAi under the AdChoices program apply to Online Behavioral Advertising in India. They aim to ensure accountability, credible complaint handling, and compliance with technical specifications for implementing the OBA Icon.

The principles are periodically updated to keep pace with market trends and now include self-certification criteria and guidelines for mobile and video ad markers. Businesses should review and implement these practices to fully comply with the self-regulatory approach in India, which prepares them for compliance with the upcoming Digital Data Protection Bill 2022.

What types of advertising are covered in the Indian principles ?

In India, the self-regulatory principles under the AdChoices program mainly focus on Online Behavioral Advertising (OBA) and do not cover contextual advertising (i.e., display advertising based on the context/content of the page where it is displayed), ad delivery, and ad reporting (as defined in the principles).

However, website operators are advised to use the AdChoices Icon to provide adequate disclosure to consumers where OBA may be happening by third parties acting across their website(s). Strictly "first-party" OBA data collection and use by a website operator across their own website(s) is not explicitly covered, but website operators are strongly advised to sign up and use the AdChoices Icon.

How do I know if the activities of my company are covered by the principles?

It's important to be aware of the self-regulatory principles under the AdChoices program in India. These principles apply broadly to a range of marketing and media entities, including advertising networks, data companies (including data aggregators), and website operators such as publishers and advertisers.

Together, these entities use technologies to deliver relevant advertising to specific devices, which may involve the collection of URLs for interest-based advertising.To ensure your company is complying with the principles, it's important to fulfill your specific obligations related to data collection and usage for interest-based advertising purposes, based on your company's particular role as defined by the principles. By following these guidelines, you can help build trust with your customers and provide transparency, choice, and control to consumers, while enabling your business to comply with industry standards.

What is the role of ad servers in the programme?

In India, the self-regulatory principles under the AdChoices program do not directly cover the role of ad servers and platforms if they are acting solely as a tool for their clients and not using or owning any data for their own purposes. However, if clients are using data through the ad server/platform's technology, it is their responsibility to comply with the self-regulatory principles. It is important for companies to ensure that their use of ad servers and platforms for interest-based advertising purposes is in accordance with the principles to provide transparency,choice, and control to consumers, and to comply with industry standards.

What are my obligations regarding OBA in India?

In India, companies must refer to the self-regulatory principles documents and self-certification criteria to understand their obligations in the Indian online digital advertising ecosystem.
All third-party companies engaged in the use of OBA data for delivering ads are required to sign up to use the AdChoices Icon from DMAi. Additionally, companies engaged in the collection of OBA data must participate in the Consumer Choice Platform.Companies should apply for relevant services agreements to comply with these requirements.
While participation in the AdChoices Icon program is voluntary for website operators in India, there are significant benefits to doing so, including providing adequate disclosure to consumers regarding OBA practices on their website(s). Website operators must ensure that all third parties involved in interest-based advertising on their website(s) are participating in the Indian self-regulatory programme and compliant with the principles. Participating companies can be viewed on the DMAi website.
Finally, advertisers and agencies in India can identify compliant third-party partners by the DMAi ‘DataSeal,’ which is awarded to companies following an independent compliance assessment and ongoing monitoring of their interest-based advertising practices.

I am a website operator. Do I need to use the AdChoices Icon and/or integrate on the "YOC" consumer choice platform?

In India, as a website operator, you have certain obligations with respect to Online Behavioral Advertising (OBA) and the use of the AdChoices Icon. However, unlike in the European Principles, these obligations are not mandated by a regulatory body in India, but rather through the self-regulatory program under the AdChoices Icon. As a first-party website operator, you are under no obligation to use the AdChoices Icon. However, it is highly recommended as it can increase consumer trust and lead to increased interactions with your website. If you are collecting OBA data for advertising or retargeting across websites that you own and operate over 50% (under your Common Control), then there is no need to integrate onto the “YOC” Consumer Choice Platform.
However, if you are collecting OBA data from third-party websites for use across your own websites, or if you are using OBA data collected from across your own websites for advertising or retargeting on third-party websites, then you are effectively acting as a Third Party and are required to integrate onto the “YOC” Consumer Choice Platform. This is necessary to provide consumers with choice and control over this type of targeting.
The “YOC” Consumer Choice Platform allows consumers to exercise control over their data and provides them with transparency regarding their choices. It is designed to help companies meet their obligations under the AdChoices program and the principles of self-regulation for OBA. By integrating onto the platform, you can demonstrate your commitment to consumer privacy and data protection and ensure compliance with the self-regulatory framework.
In summary, website operators in India should consider using the AdChoices Icon to enhance consumer trust and disclose their use of OBA data. If collecting OBA data from third-party websites or using such data for advertising or retargeting on third-party websites, integration onto the “YOC” Consumer Choice Platform is necessary to comply with the AdChoices program and self-regulatory principles.

Does the Indian self-regulatory programme extend to mobile and other connected devices?

In India, the self-regulatory program is also designed to be technology-neutral and applies to mobile and other connected devices in the same way as it applies to desktop and other traditional online platforms. The program's AdChoices icon can be used in mobile apps and mobile browsers, and participating companies must follow clear technical specifications for serving the icon across mobile ads. However, there is currently no requirement for companies to implement a mobile-specific platform for consumer choice.
Participating companies must respect the choices made by consumers regarding interest-based advertising on their mobile devices, whether through mobile device settings, application settings, or a company-owned app-specific choice platform. The use of the AdChoices icon in the mobile environment and choices conducted through web browsers are also considered components of the independent certification required under the program. Companies should refer to the self-regulatory program's documents and self-certification criteria for more information on their specific obligations.

What is the AdChoices icon?

The AdChoices Icon is a consumer-facing, interactive tool, symbolising consumer transparency, choice and control over interest-based advertising.
It is an interactive symbol to be placed in or around online ads (by “Third Parties”), or on websites where OBA data may be collected and/or used (by “Website Operators”) and demonstrates that companies involved in serving the ads are respecting the self-regulatory principles in a way that empowers consumers. The AdChoices Icon increases consumer and marketer trust in interest-based advertising by linking through to consumer-friendly information about interest-based and online advertising, including the information portal and Consumer Choice Platform https://youradchoices.com/

What is the "Adchoices" consumer choice platform?

The AdChoices Icon must always provide a clear and prominent link through the “Adchoices” Consumer Choice Platform. This Platform ensures that the consumer is offered a clear and easily accessible choice and control mechanism over interest-based advertising, by some or all participating companies. The Platform is hosted on the website https://youradchoices.com/, administered by DAA USA.
This website serves as a one-stop-shop for consumers, offering: (a) clear information about online and personalised advertising; (b) a mechanism to enact meaningful choice and control; and (c) a portal to file any consumer feedback or complaints with the national advertising Self-Regulatory Organisation (SRO)
Companies may also provide their own company-specific opt-out mechanisms; however, these must be in addition and complementary to participation on the AdChoices Consumer Choice Platform, which is a one-stop-shop for consumer information, choice and control regarding interest-based advertising.

Who should use the AdChoices icon?

In India, companies involved in using OBA data to deliver online display, mobile, or video advertising should participate via a service agreement to use the AdChoices Icon. This includes Third Parties such as ad networks, technology platforms, data aggregators, Demand Side Platforms (DSPs), and Supply Side Platforms (SSPs). It also includes Website Operators who are advertisers and publishers across sites under their Common Control. It is important to note that it is the full responsibility of a company to hold a valid service agreement for using the AdChoices Icon in India, regardless of how the integration is done, whether through an Approved Icon Provider or in-house. By using the AdChoices Icon, companies can demonstrate their commitment to respecting the self-regulatory principles, which enhances consumer trust and confidence in interest-based advertising.

I am an advertiser. Can an ad server or ad agency give me the AdChoices icon for free? What are my responsibilities? Is this different if I depend on an ad network for the AdChoices icon?

If you use an Ad Network, they collect and use OBA data on your behalf, and every ad they place for you must have the AdChoices Icon, which the Ad Network is responsible for licensing. However, some advertisers prefer to manage the AdChoices Icon's placement centrally through their Ad Agency or Ad Server to have more control over the branding and reporting. If you choose to manage the AdChoices Icon yourself through your Ad Server or Ad Agency, it's your obligation to get it from Adchoices.asia. You can't use the AdChoices Icon via your Ad Server or Ad Agency without the right to use it from AdChoices.asia.

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