RE: Issue 115, exemptions, best practices: Issue 25 and 34

Hi Jeffrey,

The conditions on best practice for sites to manage exemptions include: A site should not use a special landing page that has been designed principally to convert a user to agree to permit an exemption. ...A site should not offer rewards and incentives for a user to approve of an exemption.

We appreciate what you are aiming to do but a blanket ban would harm research and make it impossible to ask people to take part in surveys as research panels offer respondents small incentives to participate in research.

In our text for Issue 25 and 34 (see below), we outline how site users might be recruited to a research panel and agree to participate in research that could gather site specific or cross site data. The research site explains what information would be collected, the purpose of the research and provides a mechanism for the user to give their consent. If panel members elect to be tracked, it is with their consent as part of their agreement with the research organisation. They can opt-out at any time.

If a user agrees to the terms of participation having received transparent information in the site's privacy policy they would be compensated for their time and effort with small incentives such as a chance to participate in a prize draw.

Best regards

Kathy Joe

Issue 25: Possible exemption for research purposes covered by conditions for outsourcing and issue 34: Exemption for aggregated data
An exemption for research purposes is not required as this is covered under conditions for outsourcing where user's consent is required for cross-site tracking or issue 34, exemption for aggregated data.

Description: The first party site has an agreement with a research company to serve an invitation to a user as a result of something they have done on the site, eg visited a travel section. The user has a first party relationship with the site.

Suggestion: Site users' individualised data can be collected with permission, the use of the data cannot be applied in an interactive way and no products or services are offered to respondents on the basis of their individual responses. The researcher and sponsor use the information gathered strictly for research purposes. Researchers aggregate research data and when reported, the data is de-identified and cannot be linked to a specific user, computer or device. Any disclosures of identifiable research data must be used strictly for research purposes and with respondent consent.

If the respondent consents to be tracked, the data that is shared with the client is anonymised and aggregated in such a way that no discernable patterns can be attributed to a single individual.

Online surveys are usually interactive with the site user indicating their consent (YES) and not filling them (or pressing the "no" button) is equivalent to NO (meaningful interaction). Ie explicit yes or no.

Example and use cases: A site user is browsing a site. If they fulfil certain criteria, they may be served a pop up invitation which they may choose to click through to accept in which case the research company would then become the first party. The research company may ask to be granted an exception, site-specific or cross-site. The data collected would be aggregated in the results as the research company is not interested in identifying that particular person.

Opt back in for panel members who have DNT - see 4.3.1: how should a tracking reference interact with user over-rides of the tracking compliance, Issue 27: How should the "opt-back in" mechanism be designed?
Description: Research panel member eg Suppress DNT because there is a contractual agreement with the user (ie users have a pre-existing agreement to be tracked)
Panel Members are individual users that have expressed the desire to be part of a research study and/or group as part of a behavioral tracking research program which would need to over-ride the DNT standard. We introduce this to distinguish it from a site-specific exemption which may represent a desire/preference whereas a panel member relationship represents a contractual obligation with the research organization that may cover different domains..

Kathy Joe
Professional Standards & Public Affairs Director

Eurocenter 2, 11th floor
Barbara Strozzilaan 384
1083 HN Amsterdam
The Netherlands
Tel: +31 20 664 2141
Fax: +31 20 664 2922<>

From: Jeffrey Chester []
Sent: 09 February 2012 01:41
To: Jules Polonetsky
Cc: 'Alan Chapell';
Subject: Re: Issue 115, exemptions, best practices

It's a panel, which is distinct from user impact/expectations.  That is covered by research issue.

On Feb 8, 2012, at 6:24 PM, Jules Polonetsky wrote:

Here is a current example of users being paid for tracking

From: Alan Chapell []
Sent: Wednesday, February 08, 2012 3:59 PM
To: Jeffrey Chester
Cc:<> (<>)
Subject: Re: Issue 115, exemptions, best practices

Jeff -

If we're starting with the premise that any attempt to get a User to agree to an exemption is undermining User intent, we're going to have trouble finding common ground. Are there ANY mechanisms for providing a reward for the User's agreement to an exemption that are acceptable to you? What about providing additional free content in exchange for an exemption? Is that ok?


Alan Chapell
Chapell & Associates
917 318 8440

From: Jeffrey Chester <<>>
Date: Wed, 08 Feb 2012 15:50:09 -0500
To: Alan Chapell <<>>
Cc: "<> (<>)" <<>>
Subject: Re: Issue 115, exemptions, best practices

Alan:  As you know, online marketing practices are designed to process users to agree to opt-in and data practices.  What I wrote below are just a few of the practices used by the leading co's and many others.  If a users decision on DNT is not to be undermined, we must ensure that practices are incorporated the permit fair user choice.

Jeffrey Chester
Center for Digital Democracy
1621 Connecticut Ave, NW, Suite 550
Washington, DC 20009<><>

On Feb 8, 2012, at 3:23 PM, Alan Chapell wrote:

Jeff - In looking at what you've provided here, I'm a bit concerned that you are dictating the terms that a website has with its visitors. Can you share the rationale for each of these - and specifically, what you are trying to guard against?

Alternatively, I'm happy to have a one-off discussion on this topic on Friday early AM with Ninja and Jim.


Alan Chapell
Chapell & Associates
917 318 8440

From: Jeffrey Chester <<>>
Date: Wed, 08 Feb 2012 14:05:40 -0500
To: "<> (<>)" <<>>
Subject: Issue 115, exemptions, best practices
Resent-From: <<>>
Resent-Date: Wed, 08 Feb 2012 20:08:56 +0000

[I await input from Ninja, Alan and Jim]

Best Practices for sites to manage exemptions should include:

A site must provide accurate information to users on the actual data collection and use practices of the site.  This should include all information used for tracking, targeting, sales of profiles.
A site should not suggest that the ability to access information is dependent on blanket acceptance of a site's data practices.
A site should not use "immersive" multimedia applications designed to foster opt-in as a way to encourage a user agreeing to an exemption.
A site should not use a special landing page that has been designed principally to convert a user to agree to permit an exemption.
A site should not use social media marketing to urge a user to ask their "friends" to approve exemptions.
A site should not offer rewards and incentives for a user to approve of an exemption.

Received on Monday, 13 February 2012 09:53:11 UTC