TRUSTe Powers Privacy for Millennial Mobile Ads

Data privacy management solutions provider TRUSTe has unveiled the first customer for its TRUSTed Mobile Ads. Mobile ad and analytics platform Millennial Media will integrate TRUSTed Mobile Ads directly into its own platform and begin delivering data privacy management in along with mobile ads in Europe.

In April, TRUSTe announced TRUSTed Mobile Ads, a privacy management solution that gives consumers control over the collection of their data and went into beta with customers including ad networks Greystripe, HasOffers, Human Demand, InMobi, Medialets, and Nexage.

Having served more than 40 billion privacy-enabled mobile ads per month since then, TRUSTe CEO Chris Babel said, “We have it down. You’re now seeing the first of a wave of announcements of real customers who have signed up and are working on full implementations.”

In addition to Millennial, TRUSTe announced that 4INFO, Adfonic, AdMobius, AppLovin, Everyscreen Media and JiWire will use TRUSTe Mobile Ads.

TRUSTed Mobile Ads follows the Digital Advertising Alliance’s AdChoice principles of clear and easy-to-understand privacy notifications for consumers regarding online behavioral advertising. It includes a reference management system that lets consumers manage their personal privacy settings across mobile devices and websites, as well as mobile app software development kits for iOS and Android.

In July, TRUSTe surveyed U.S. adults and found that 94 percent considered online privacy important. Among mobile users, 85 percent said they wouldn’t download an app if they didn’t trust it, while only 14 percent believed that mobile app stores only make available apps that safeguard their privacy. While 62 percent of smartphone users were aware that advertisers track mobile activities for targeted ads, only 1 percent liked it.

Babel pointed out that letting consumers opt out of tracking is more difficult in the mobile sector, because they may access content via mobile web browsers or apps, and they increasingly may access content through more than one mobile device.

“It’s a more complicated issue to serve the icon, determine whether there is an opt out and feed that back through the ecosystem,” he said. TRUSTed Mobile Ads lets individuals opt out once from tracking. “If consumer makes a choice to opt out of targeted ads, they are opted out on the device and not just on web browsing or apps.”

Another difficulty is the lack of standards for mobile behavioral advertising in the EU and the United States. TRUSTe has built is mobile ad platform to conform to the specs for online behavioral advertising. It is customizable, so that when standards are released, it will be updated. The system has built-in intelligence that can identify where a consumer making a page or app request is coming from and deliver the appropriate privacy notification, although this is not turned on yet.

Once mobile privacy standards are in place, Babel said, “From an advertiser perspective, you can flight a campaign with the icon in it, and it will adjust based on language and local privacy regulations on the fly for you.”

Noting the difficulty of offering privacy solutions ahead of the publication of standards, Babel said: “You’re seeing proactive work by some of these mobile ad networks to do the right thing for the consumer even before standards are set in stone.”

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