Digital Advertising Alliance Launches Initial Certification Process for Addressable Media Identifiers (AMIs) 1

AMI Providers Must Certify Compliance with AMI Policy Framework; TrustArc to Extend DAA Role to Serve as Initial Certification Partner; LiveRamp First Provider to Undergo Certification; Prebid Addressability Framework to Be Initial Software Service

Today the Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA) announced the launch of its initial certification process for providers of Addressable Media Identifiers (AMIs). AMIs are used to enable relevant advertising, optimized outcomes, measurement tools, and other important functionality with new privacy safeguards for the ad-supported digital content and services enjoyed by millions of consumers worldwide.

“Over more than a decade, the DAA has built the advertising industry’s leading independent self-regulatory platform for interest-based advertising, and the AMI certification process is the logical next step for our efforts,” said Lou Mastria, CIPP/US, executive director of the DAA. “The DAA has continuously adapted our industry guidelines and consumer tools to keep pace with new technologies and industry changes, and we are proud to continue to evolve our program with important new cross industry privacy safeguards including prohibited data uses.”

Companies that have issued or plan to issue AMIs must certify their compliance with the Policy Framework for Addressable Media Identifiers released by the advertising industry earlier this year. The AMI Policy Framework is designed to ensure users and providers of AMIs continue to safeguard consumer privacy by delineating both explicitly permitted data uses and prohibited uses of data. AMI’s also provide meaningful choices to consumers, publishers, agencies, and advertisers, and they maintain the critical functionality needed to provide ad-supported content and services in the digital ecosystem.

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TrustArc will serve as the DAA’s first compliance partner for AMI certification, and it will manage the review and attestation process by AMI providers to verify their compliance with the AMI Policy Framework. TrustArc has been a longtime Approved Provider of Compliance Services for DAA. Its products and services have been used by countless companies as a method for providing evidence of compliance with the DAA Principles and it will extend its role to this new area.

“TrustArc and the DAA have worked together for many years to provide compliance services around the AdChoices program, and we are delighted to extend that relationship to serve as a DAA compliance partner for AMI certification,” said TrustArc CEO Chris Babel. “As advertising technologies and privacy tools continue to evolve, TrustArc will help the digital advertising industry maintain the robust compliance mechanisms it needs to assure consumer trust.”

Companies undergoing the initial certification process will receive an interim six-month certification after which companies will receive a full certification, pending successful completion of their requirements. The DAA will finalize comprehensive compliance guidelines to ensure the program is independently auditable and contractually enforceable. Additional certification providers or other options for certification may be announced in future.

Current DAA participant LiveRamp has committed to undergo AMI certification for its pseudonymous, people-based RampID and its Authenticated Traffic Solution (ATS). The DAA has also initiated discussions about participation with other current and potential AMI providers, including many current DAA participants, and expects rapid expansion of the program.

“We strongly believe in the mission of the Digital Advertising Alliance and are looking forward to RampID becoming the first certified addressable media identifier,” said Travis Clinger, SVP, Addressability and Ecosystem at LiveRamp. “With RampID and other certified AMIs helping to strengthen consumer privacy and build consumer trust, digital advertising can create a sustainable ecosystem that will support the future of the industry. Whether partners are using RampID or using the LiveRamp Authenticated Traffic Solution to transact on other approved identifiers, we’re helping to drive the industry towards this future.”

Prebid Addressability Framework (PAF) has committed to be an initial software partner for the AMI certification program, working with AMI providers, companies using AMIs, and the DAA to develop a more consistent user experience and transparent application of consumer choices across the digital media ecosystem. PAF’s consumer controls for AMIs will complement the DAA’s existing choice tools, and the DAA will evaluate the need for any additional tools to support the new safeguards in the AMI Framework.

“The DAA certification is an important step in bringing improved transparency and accountability to digital advertising. It ensures marketers and media owners remain free to work with the supply chain partners of their choice, which is core to Criteo’s purpose of supporting a fair and open internet,” said Todd Parsons, Chief Product Officer at Criteo and PMC Chair of the Prebid Addressability Framework. “We’re also encouraged to see increasing support for responsible AMIs that better enable marketers and media owners to connect with one another and the consumers they engage.”

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The Policy Framework for Addressable Media Identifiers sets limitations on permitted uses – such as security, analytics, legal compliance, and control-based advertising – while prohibiting the use of key sensitive health, financial, biometric, and financial data with the AMI. In addition, the Framework enables advertisers and other stakeholders to select audiences linked to AMIs that are made up exclusively of consumers who have provided “opt-in” consent to receive online behavioral advertising, as such technologies mature. This flexible approach allows advertisers to meet the widely varying legal and regulatory requirements for different jurisdictions, as well as adopting custom standards that meet their business needs.

The DAA’s proposed certification process is strongly supported by the broad range of advertising trade associations on the DAA board, including the 4A’s, American Advertising Federation, ANA, Interactive Advertising Bureau, and Network Advertising Initiative. The Policy Framework for Addressable Media Identifiers was released by the Partnership for Responsible Addressable Media in February 2022, prior to it transitioning the implementation of ongoing AMI certification and oversight to the DAA.

Other prominent industry participants also praised the proposed AMI certification process:

  • “It’s important for the industry at large to have a more proactive stance addressing consumers’ desire for new and additonal controls over online identifiers and data. There is more than one solution and answer to the question of what comes after the cookie,” said Michael Zacharski, CEO, ENGINE Media Exchange (EMX). “AdChoices was the first iteration of creating a live dialogue with consumers as they interact with advertising on the web, and we are encouraged to see momentum behind transparent, privacy first, open-source solutions.”
  • “This is a time of massive change for the digital advertising space. As our industry develops new ways to find and reach consumers, we must ensure that privacy continues to be at the forefront of our policies and tools,” said Evan Hill, SVP Partnerships & Strategy, Dstillery. “In that changing world, Dstillery empowers brands with its digital ad solutions, and we welcome the leadership role of the DAA and Prebid to help define and build the privacy and choice framework for the next generation of addressability solutions.”
  • “With the 3rd-party cookie going away in 2023, more than 100 different alternative identity and addressability solutions have emerged, and more are sure to come,” said Barry Adams, EVP, AdTech, IPONWEB. “With so many options, it’s imperative that the industry imposes standards to ensure consumer privacy, control, and choice remain at the center of any solutions being developed and to help advertisers and publishers make more informed choices about the tools they ultimately adopt. IPONWEB is proud to work with the DAA and other partners to support these certification initiatives that are a meaningful first step to building a sustainable and consumer-centered approach to addressability and ensuring digital advertising continues to work for advertisers, publishers, and users in equal measure well into the future.”

The DAA will release additional information regarding the enforcement process and rollout of consumer choice tools for AMIs in late 2022 and early 2023.

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