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Re: MRC Industry Standards for Data Retention = 1-year

From: Joseph Lorenzo Hall <joe@cdt.org>
Date: Fri, 28 Sep 2012 11:46:46 -0400
Message-ID: <5065C666.1070003@cdt.org>
To: Chris Mejia <chris.mejia@iab.net>
CC: Ed Felten <ed@felten.com>, W3C DNT Working Group Mailing List <public-tracking@w3.org>, Mike Zaneis <mike@iab.net>
Thanks, Chris, I completely understand.  Item 17 of the standards seems 
to be the place to answer my own question, but it's very general:


17. Each rating service shall maintain, for at least eleven months from 
the end of the period covered by the report, all diaries and interviews 
(or a complete fac simile thereof), tape records and/or other primary 
sources of audience data. These shall include material actually used in 
the preparation of published rating rep0l1s as well as material 
collected but not used.


Anyway, thanks for the pointer.

best, Joe

PS: Kind of a pain in the rear that the standards document is locked 
down to prevent copying and pasting from it... had to do a screenshot 
and then an OCR to be able to paste the above in.

On 9/28/12 11:31 AM, Chris Mejia wrote:
> Hi Joe,
> Thanks for your inquiry.  Respectfully, I do believe there are answers to
> your questions in the MRC documentation and I refer you there.  As I don't
> work directly for the MRC, I should defer commenting on their standards,
> and leave that to dialog directly between you and them.  I am only
> relaying to this working group (per the request made of me) the Standard
> and resultant industry practice, as they are written and implemented-- I'm
> not here to defend it, negotiate it, nor poke at it-- it's not within my
> purview to do so.  I don't feel this is the appropriate forum for debating
> the requirements, merits and implementation details of another industry
> body's standards (MRC) and practice, especially when that body is not at
> the table.
> Kind Regards,
> Chris Mejia | Digital Supply Chain Solutions | Ad Technology Group |
> Interactive Advertising Bureau - IAB
> On 9/28/12 2:26 PM, "Joseph Lorenzo Hall" <joe@cdt.org> wrote:
>> I'm still not entirely clear, Chris... (although it's fascinating to see
>> such long-lived self-regulation that appears to work well for the
>> intended purpose.)
>> Does the MRC accreditation just require advertisers to store a list of
>> URLs as you say? How does that enable auditing?
>> Or is the data structure used in an audit more complicated? For example,
>> if I were to think of what would be needed as raw data for an audit, at
>> a high level, it would be more like "ad impression events" that would
>> include:
>> * A timestamp of when the ad was shown.
>> * The ad identifier (and maybe a campaign identifier).
>> * A unique ID for the device or person to which the ad was served.
>> Maybe I should just read the document. ::) Apologies if the answer is in
>> there and I've jumped the gun. best, Joe
>> On 9/28/12 7:19 AM, Chris Mejia wrote:
>>> Hi Ed,
>>> My interpretation is that the party seeking MRC accreditation should
>>> store the URLs associated with circulation/audience counts (the "source
>>> data") for future verification for a period of 11-months + the month of
>>> collection (12-months).  What's your interpretation?
>>> Chris Mejia | Digital Supply Chain Solutions | Ad Technology Group |
>>> Interactive Advertising Bureau ­ IAB
>>> From: Ed Felten <ed@felten.com <mailto:ed@felten.com>>
>>> Date: Friday, September 28, 2012 1:48 AM
>>> To: Chris Mejia - IAB <chris.mejia@iab.net <mailto:chris.mejia@iab.net>>
>>> Cc: W3C DNT Working Group Mailing List <public-tracking@w3.org
>>> <mailto:public-tracking@w3.org>>
>>> Subject: Re: MRC Industry Standards for Data Retention = 1-year
>>> Chris, do you read the MRC document as requiring that tracking data be
>>> retained for one year?   Do you read it as requiring tracking data to be
>>> collected from opted-out users?
>>> On Thu, Sep 27, 2012 at 7:39 PM, Chris Mejia <chris.mejia@iab.net
>>> <mailto:chris.mejia@iab.net>> wrote:
>>>      I believe it was Jeff Chester who asked if I would research this and
>>>      come back to the working group with the results:
>>>      According to the Media Rating Council (MRC), the normal retention
>>>      period for "source data" required for industry accreditation of
>>>      third-party audience estimates is 1-year, as documented in their
>>>      published standards: "/Minimum Standards for Media Rating Research/"
>>>      (available for download at
>>>      http://mediaratingcouncil.org/MRC%20Standards.htm).  Depending on
>>>      the case however (and on a case-by-case basis), special concessions
>>>      may be made outside of this standard from time to time as deemed
>>>      appropriate by the CPAs/auditor and the MRC.
>>>      *About the MRC, their mission and authority:*
>>>      *
>>>      In the early 1960ıs a U.S. Congressional Committee held hearings on
>>>      the purpose and accuracy of audience research and considered
>>>      regulation related to the TV and Radio industries.  These public
>>>      hearings are commonly referred to as the ³Harris Committee Hearings
>>>      on Broadcast Ratings.²  After investigation and extensive testimony
>>>      the Committee determined that Industry self-regulation, including
>>>      independent audits of rating services was preferable to government
>>>      intervention.  The Harris Committee hearings resulted in the
>>>      formation of an Industry-funded organization to review and accredit
>>>      audience rating services called the Broadcast Rating Council (now
>>>      referred to as the MRC).
>>>      Aligned with the actions deemed necessary by the House Committee,
>>>      the activities of the MRC include:
>>>        * The establishment and administration of Minimum Standards for
>>>          rating operations;
>>>        * The accreditation of rating services on the basis of information
>>>          submitted by such services; and
>>>        * Auditing, through independent CPA firms, of the activities of
>>>          the rating services.
>>>      *
>>>      The Media Rating Council seeks to improve the quality of audience
>>>      measurement by rating services and to provide a better understanding
>>>      of the applications (and limitations) of rating information.  The
>>>      Bylaws of the MRC document the organizationıs mission as: ³to secure
>>>      for the media industry and related users audience measurement
>>>      services that are valid, reliable and effective; to evolve and
>>>      determine minimum disclosure and ethical criteria for media audience
>>>      measurement services; and to provide and administer an audit system
>>>      designed to inform users as to whether such audience measurements
>>>      are conducted in conformance with the criteria and procedures
>>>      developed.²  This mission was established with the support of the
>>>      House Committee.
>>>      More on the MRC at http://mediaratingcouncil.org/History.htm
>>>      Chris Mejia | Digital Supply Chain Solutions | Ad Technology Group |
>>>      Interactive Advertising Bureau - IAB
>> --
>> Joseph Lorenzo Hall
>> Senior Staff Technologist
>> Center for Democracy & Technology
>> 1634 I ST NW STE 1100
>> Washington DC 20006-4011
>> (p) 202-407-8825
>> (f) 202-637-0968
>> joe@cdt.org

Joseph Lorenzo Hall
Senior Staff Technologist
Center for Democracy & Technology
1634 I ST NW STE 1100
Washington DC 20006-4011
(p) 202-407-8825
(f) 202-637-0968
Received on Friday, 28 September 2012 15:47:18 UTC

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