Online Behavioral Advertising and Third-Party Tracking
What is online behavioral advertising (OBA)?
Online behavioral advertising is the practice of targeting advertisements to consumers based on users’ past online behavior. Behavioral targeting is enabled by tracking user browsing behavior across different websites and using that information to deliver ads that are relevant to the user’s interests. The underlying concept is simple: by delivering advertising that is related to an individual’s interests, it is more likely to be relevant, and thus more effective. Users should also be happier if they see more content that they are interested in.
Even the largest ad networks do not have enough relevant ad inventory to fill up a heavily-trafficked website. To better serve their customers, ad networks will refer ad requests to their partners, who in turn serve ads provided by their own collection of ad network partners. Each of the many organizations potentially involved in the placement of an ad has the opportunity -- and the incentive -- to track your users. Your partners’ policies and behaviors (and their partners as well) may also change over time. The only way to know for sure that your partners are delivering on their promises is to regularly monitor and analyze their actual behavior.
We don’t advertise, why is there third-party tracking on our site?
The use of third-party tracking and the collection of behavioral data can create value that goes beyond advertising. Web Privacy Monitoring doesn’t evaluate the purpose of data collection; it just helps you to see that it is taking place. Even if you don’t serve advertising, tracking technologies may be in use on your site for other purposes. In many cases analytics companies gather behavioral data on your visitors even as they provide you information to improve the design and functioning of your website. Various pieces of website functionality, such as social network connectors and content provided by marketing partners or service providers may also have third-party tracking embedded within them.
Keynote Web Privacy
How is privacy monitoring different than a privacy or cookie audit?
Monitoring tells you what is going on with your website now, helps you to identify trends over time, and gives you a baseline for establishing your company’s privacy performance. By contrast an audit is inherently just a snapshot in time. While a point-in-time audit may have its value in understanding a site’s privacy risk profile, due to the dynamic nature of advertising content, constantly shifting players in the ad network ecosystem, and behavioral tracking activities that may change with no notice, any given snapshot in time is likely to be outdated soon after the data is collected.
Does Keynote provide an audit?
Combining the monitoring technology of Keynote Web Privacy Tracking along with the insight our privacy consulting team, we can provide an in-depth one-time audit of a website’s privacy posture. Through this privacy profile assessment, Keynote’s automated monitoring agents gather data from all your monitored web pages as frequently as every 5 minutes, 24X7, from geographically diverse locations (to capture differences in geolocation-based ad targeting) for up to an entire month. The large body of data collected allows our consultants to conduct privacy risk trending analyses, determine frequencies of monitored privacy violations, and derive other statistically significant observations.
What countries do you support?
Web Privacy Tracking is currently in both North America and Europe with plans to expand to other locations in the near future.
What happens if a company is not in your ad network database?
The Keynote Web Privacy Tracking database is updated daily and the companies within are continually monitored for changes in their practices. As new tracking companies and their associated tracking domains are identified we will quickly add them to the database. There are many third-party companies that leave cookies but don’t do tracking. Common examples include localization or live chat service providers. We keep a record of these firms when we find them but they do not appear in the database.
Do you monitor mobile websites and apps?
Not currently, although Keynote does monitor mobile websites and applications for performance.
Do I need Transaction Perspective to get Web Privacy Tracking?
Yes, for current customers of Keynote's Transaction Perspective, Web Privacy Tracking is a measurement option.
What browsers do you support?
IE9 and Firefox 5
The default settings in Web Privacy Tracking are a good place to start. They are based on a robust standard for tracking practice. Keynote Web Privacy Services consultants can help you develop the right policy settings for your organization.
If I change my settings, how long until I see the new set of policy violators?
Immediately; policy settings are a filter that changes what data we display for you, but all data is present.
What privacy settings can I select?
Currently we look at industry oversight, data security practices, and commitment to consumer choice. An example for each is NAI membership, a policy of data anonymization, and offering an opt-out respectively.