A recent BBB opinion appears to be another harbinger of the direction that data privacy law is going.  Specifically, a decision by the Online Interest-Based Advertising Accountability Program (the “Program”) illustrates the importance of providing consumers with “enhanced notice” when data is collected for interest-based advertising.

In response to a consumer complaint, the Program reviewed the website of sneaker retailer Finish Line and observed that data was collected by numerous third-parties that engaged in interest-based advertising.  A more comprehensive examination of Finish Line’s compliance with Digital Advertising Alliance Principles subsequently revealed that  third-parties were collecting cross-app data via the company’s mobile application without providing enhanced notice or disclosing third-party interest-based advertising on the privacy policy page.  It also revealed that one third-party was collecting geolocation data.

Finish Line promptly made changes to website and privacy policy.  The latter included a statement regarding compliance with DAA Principles.  It also added an enhanced notice link with information about third-party data collection (labeled “Interest-Based Ads Policy”) and links to the DAA’s WebChoices page and an opt-out page.

Changes to the app included a description of the third-party interest-based advertising, a link to the DAA’s AppChoices application and a statement of compliance with Finish Line’s privacy policy.  Finish Line also ensured compliance with the enhanced notice compliance obligations under the Mobile Guidance by including a link to its internet-based advertising policy in close proximity to the top of its privacy policy page.

The company also made changes to its geolocation privacy disclosures and opt-out mechanisms.

The decision can be seen, here.

Richard Newman is an FTC attorney and member of the International Association of Privacy Professionals.    

Informational purposes only. Not legal advice. Previous case results do not guarantee similar future result. 

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