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Re: ACTION-255: Work on financial reporting text as alternative to legal requirements

From: Nicholas Doty <npdoty@w3.org>
Date: Fri, 21 Sep 2012 20:52:27 -0700
Cc: <public-tracking@w3.org>
Message-Id: <A637A4DB-A574-4B94-9D9D-589801CECB29@w3.org>
To: Alan Chapell <achapell@chapellassociates.com>
Hi Alan,

Thanks for sharing this text (and sorry we didn't get a chance to talk about it earlier during drafting).

As I understood the discussion from the call on the 12th, the goal here was to find a proposal that would allow retention related to proof of billing for contracts without letting contracts override any requirements the spec has for compliance. My proposal (based on past discussions within the group) was to rely on the requirements of financial reporting laws rather than going into specific details in this specification about particular billing terms.

A couple of questions on reading the below:

Would this proposal prohibit retention and use of user browsing data for behavioral targeting of online ads? If I sign a contract that I will only show a particular ad to users who previously visited a certain set of web pages, would I then be permitted regardless of DNT signal to retain and use any information from requests in order to verify that an ad is only shown to such visitors? Or to bill differently for visitors who had visited certain sites in the past? 

Similarly, your final example is a case of remarketing or retargeting -- as I understand it, you're suggesting that ad networks must continue to retain data of who saw which ad where so that they can confirm that a certain ad is only shown to visitors who had previously seen a particular ad on a particular site. I was under the impression that the group had certainly agreed that alteration of future requests based on past requests on other sites would generally be prohibited.

I'm also curious about the "subsequent action or conversion" purpose and corresponding post-impression conversion example. Does retention of data about a request and correlation of that data with other requests on other sites qualify as data to confirm that a "request met various criteria set forth by the contract"? I would generally be afraid that it would be hard to explain to users that their browsing activity was being tracked under DNT:1 because certain contracts granted different financial terms based on past or future online activity.

I would like to hope that our permitted use text can avoid a detailed list of which contractual practices are allowed and which are prohibited, but it may be helpful to determine whether the group has a common understanding there. I could certainly understand a concern that this form of proposal would allow any contractual relationship to override a user's expressed preference, which I don't believe to be our common intent.

Thanks,
Nick

On Sep 19, 2012, at 8:42 AM, Alan Chapell <achapell@chapellassociates.com> wrote:

> Good Morning,
> 
> Here is the language we came up with. I'm on a plane. I'll be on IRC, but not the call until perhaps the end.
> 6.1.1.5 Financial Logging and Auditing
> 
> Regardless of DNT signal, any information sent via the request may be collected, retained and used as a record that the request occurred and that the request met various criteria set forth by the contract or as terms of more standard industry audits used to determine the quality of impressions, clicks or actions.  This may include information used to verify:
> 
> Number and quality of ad impressions
> Basics of MRC audit and of all contracts
> Unique visitors receiving impressions
> Typical contractual term
> Number and quality of clicks
> Basic of MRC audit and of all contracts and vital to confidence in CPM pricing
> Unique visitors imparting clicks
> Basics of MRC audit and all contracts
> Subsequent action(s) or conversion post click or impression
> Key to entire CPA billing model
> Unique visitors engaging in post click or impression action or activity
> Key to entire CPA billing model
> The degree to which ad ad was rendered
> MRC audit IAB standard contracts
> Display time and user interaction with ad
> Contracts
> Location on page where ad rendered
> Contracts
> URL Location on which ad rendered
> Contract and used to ensure that ads are delivered on "inappropriate" sites (per Alans' comments) 
> 
> 6.1.1.5.1 Examples
> This section is non-normative.
> 
> A snow tire manufacturer, BigSnowTire Co, enters into a contract to buy 1 billion ad impressions at $3 per thousand on BigPublisher to specific pages on BigPublisher's site to viewers in certain Northern US sites at a given time of day.  BigSnowTire Co uses a popular ad delivery tool to record IP address, Ad Unit Served , URL on which it was served, Time it was served (among other information) to ensure that the terms of its contract with BigPublisher were met.  Absent this data BigSnowTire Co would have no lasting record that significant financial outlay of $3million was correctly delivered.
> 
> A large law firm with a class action practice, DewyCheatim LLC, purchases CPM based advertising at a rate of $50 a click for keyword "classactionenoma" from a large search engine, BigSearch.  DewyCheatim uses a popular 3rd party tool provider to record click information including cookie, IP address, user agent and time stamp relating to the click to ensure that contract terms with BigSearch were met by retaining the ability to filter multiple clicks by the same end user, filter "low quality" clicks coming from competing law firm "AndHow LLC" or clicks potentially coming from BigSearch or its affiliates.
> 
> A large credit card agency, BigPlastic, offers a $100 bounty to all sites who run display ads featuring BigPlastic credit card offers where within 24 hours of a user's view of such ad or click on such ad, user visits BigPlastic.com and signs up for a card.  BigPlastic.com by contract retains the right to hold back such bounty if user later fails to qualify or use such card.  BigPlastic.com retains a 3rd party ad service provider who, on BigPlastic's behalf, retains or supplies to BigPlastic, data which would allow such correlation to occur including IP, ReferringURL and unique cookie.
> 
> An industry group called the Prescription Medicines Code of Practice Authority (PCMCP) is charged with regulating certain aspects of  (among other things) pharmaceutical advertising in the UK.  An Advertising Network campaign was created and run for a U.S. based pharma company, Burtussion Pharmaceuticals.  The site list for the campaign included “News.co.uk” a site that is widely viewed by people located across both the U.S. and Europe. A user located in the UK who was served an at from Burtussion on News.co.uk took a snapshot and filed a complaint with the PMCPA as it was against the PMCPA Code for an American company to advertise an American prescription / Rx product in the UK. However, if the ad network could demonstrate that the User was a) located in the U.S. and b) had been previously served a Burtussion ad on a U.S. based site as part of this campaign, the likelihood of the PMCPA taking action would diminish greatly. 5000 UK impressions were served as part of a remarketing campaign. Six months after the campaign had run, PMCPA contacted the ad network, the ad agency and Burtussion as part of their investigation into the alleged breach of their code and requested (among other items): demonstrable proof that re-targeted viewers had to have seen the Burtussion Pharmaceuticals advertisement previously on a US site before they could be served the same advertisement on the UK based site. i.e. if the viewer saw the advertisement on the News.co.uk website.  The ad network was asked to check its logs to confirm that those applicable Users have viewed the advertisement previously. The agency shared that the pharmaceutical company was facing fines, and that there’s was a high potential that the issue would be escalated if the ad network didn’t clarify the above points quickly.
> ·         
> 
> Alan
Received on Saturday, 22 September 2012 03:52:40 UTC

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