What: NAI has released the most recent update of its Code of Conduct, which expands on the rules and regulations around digital advertising, reinforces requirements for collection and use of data, and bans behavioral targeting of users younger than 16.
Why it matters: The Conduct Code, first published in 2000 and last updated in 2018, is meant to thoroughly encompass the products, technologies, and most recent ways of today’s digital advertising society.

Non-profit organization Network Advertising Initiative has announced its 2020 Code of Conduct. The document is meant to be an updated, more comprehensive version of the NAI Code, which was first published in 2000. The 2020 Code expands coverage to fully encompass all the new products and technologies relevant to today’s digital advertising industry and strengthens requirements related to the collection and use of NAI member companies’ data for digital advertising.

“The 2020 NAI Code expands the scope of coverage of modern digital advertising practices by formally including the use of offline data and advertiser customer database information to target ads across websites, applications, and television screens; something many of our members already proactively honor,” said Leigh Freund, NAI President and CEO, in a statement. “This Code further aims to future-proof and proactively fill potential gaps by including any other use of previously collected data about a particular user or device to target digital advertising.

Among the main updates included since the 2018 document, NAI goes further into collection and use of precise location data. “We are asking members to work with application publishers to provide additional notice regarding advertisers’ uses of data when obtaining consumer consent”. The code also imposes rigorous requirements for the collection and use of sensor information like that provided by cameras, microphones, and biometric sensors.

Moreover, to comply with the California Consumer Privacy Act, NAI’s 2020 Code bans behavioral targeting of users younger than 16, thus raising the minimum age from the 2018 document by 3 years.

“The Code also introduces requirements to increase transparency for political audience targeting, requiring NAI members to disclose the political audience segments they use for tailored advertising.”, said Freund.

The enforcement of the 2020 Code is planned for January 1st, 2020.

What: News broke that Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg plans to merge the three instant-messaging platforms owned by the company.
Why it matters: Zuckerberg’s plan has brought up privacy and antitrust concerns, as it would bring Facebook even more power over 2.6 million users’ data.

According to a New York Times article published last Friday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg plans to merge instant messaging platforms WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram in an effort to keep control over the company. The three services would continue to function as stand-alone apps, but the merger would allow more than 2.6 million users to communicate across platforms.

Since the news broke, antitrust, privacy and security concerns have been voiced. Even though the plan is still in the early stages, it could mean even more power for the company that has been involved in scandal for months over questionable handling of users’ data.

At an event in Brussels, former British deputy prime minister Nick Clegg, who joined Facebook as head of global policy and communications late last year, answered questions about the New York Times’ article and said that Facebook is still a long way off of merging the three instant-messaging platforms.

“It is so early days,” Clegg said. “We haven’t worked out how that will work, whether it’s workable, what regulators may or may not think about it before they jump to any conclusions, what you would need to do, how you make that work in the data infrastructure, how much data integration you need between them. I’m afraid I can’t give you much more color.”

Featured: Logo photo created by ijeab – www.freepik.com