RE: Proposed Text for Local Law and Public Purpose

You beat me to it Brooks. I'll just add my own analogy that MRC accreditation is a way of ensuring accurate and consistent counting methodologies of clicks and impressions, which form the basis for calculating the amount that advertisers are billed and sites are paid. The analogy that springs to mind is the state agencies that certify that gas stations are measuring gallons of gas accurately and billing consumers accordingly.

The reason that you see so many companies on the MRC accreditation page is that this certification as to accuracy of measurement is vitally important for providing online advertising services, whether targeted or untargeted. I believe your reference to Hispanic measurement refers perhaps to demographics in relation to TV geo advertising markets; if so, I don't understand the relevance to our discussion.

Sent from my Windows Phone
From: Dobbs, Brooks
Sent: 10/22/2012 9:12 AM
To: Jeffrey Chester; Weaver, Richard
Cc: John Simpson ,; Amy Colando (LCA);
Subject: Re: Proposed Text for Local Law and Public Purpose


I think you are missing the MRC's role in the ecosystem here.  We may even need to do a 101 on the ad serving economy as compared to a more tangible industry -  say pork bellies in the commodities market.  If this is obvious, please forgive the review, but I think an analogy is helpful here.

If I spend $150k on 200k lbs of frozen pork bellies at 75 cents a pound a huge tractor trailer(s) show up and I see frozen pork bellies.  I can further weigh them on an NTEP certified scale, and if it turns out that only 180k lbs are there I can negotiate a $15k discount.  We can agree on this because even though the bellies were weighed at my facility, they scales where certified by an organization both buyer and seller trust.

If alternatively, I spend $150k on 10k CPMs of advertising on at $15/CPM targeted to IP addresses in the Spokane WA area from 4pm to 7pm local time – where's the beef?  I live in Atlanta.  If the ad buy was delivered correctly, I should see exactly ZERO of the ads.  How then does the purchaser have confidence that all 10k CPMs occurred?  Advertisers have this confidence because they traditionally pay on numbers that their system records, a log of "quality" deliveries.  But the obvious question is then – what about the seller?  How does he have confidence in the buyer's numbers?  Couldn't the buyer have just thrown away 5k impressions as invalid so as to avoid paying for them?  MRC is the answer here.  MRC will give both parties confidence that they have a common frame of reference from which to conduct business.  The buyer (and/or seller) will have his system MRC certified and there is an agreed upon counting standardto use as a basis for payment.

If you are suggesting that accommodating MRC audits shouldn't play a role in these discussions, the argument is akin to saying no one should certify scales in the commodities market.


Brooks Dobbs, CIPP | Chief Privacy Officer | KBM Group | Part of the Wunderman Network
(Tel) 678 580 2683 | (Mob) 678 492 1662 |


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From: Jeffrey Chester <<>>
Date: Saturday, October 20, 2012 4:49 PM
To: "Weaver, Richard" <<>>
Cc: John Simpson <<>>, Amy Colando <<>>, "<>" <<>>
Subject: Re: Proposed Text for Local Law and Public Purpose
Resent-From: <<>>
Resent-Date: Saturday, October 20, 2012 4:50 PM

Thanks.  I hope we aren't suggesting that somehow industry set guidelines for its own MRC should in any way impact our work to provide user choice in a meaningful manner for DNT.  The MRC is a media/industry industry run initiative, involved in a wide range of TV and online measurement tools that play a key role in the user targeting experience:

Companies involved with the Council include Google, Disney, Adobe, comScore, AOL, Microsoft, Yahoo, etc.   I suggest that it's guidelines do not reflect the privacy concerns addressed by this group.  The history of ratings, as many of us know, has been quite controversial (such as Hispanic measurement).  Congress has been critical of many of the industry practices.    Is someone suggesting that there be a data retention source period for one year or more to please the MRC?

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

On Oct 17, 2012, at 5:26 PM, Weaver, Richard wrote:

I hope Chris Mejia won’t mind that I’m cutting and pasting his previous description of MRC:

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  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 1960’s 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 “Harris Committee Hearings on Broadcast Ratings.”  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 organization’s mission as: “to 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.”  This mission was established with the support of the House Committee.

More on the MRC at

Richard Weaver Deputy Privacy Officer | comScore, Inc. (NASDAQ:SCOR)
o +1 (703) 438-2354 |<>

Introducing Mobile Metrix 2.0 - The next generation of mobile behavioral measurement<>

From: John Simpson []
Sent: Wednesday, October 17, 2012 5:14 PM
To: Amy Colando
Subject: Re: Proposed Text for Local Law and Public Purpose

I'm sorry, maybe I missed something -- it certainly wouldn't be the first time -- but what is MRC accreditation?

John M. Simpson
Consumer Advocate
Consumer Watchdog
2701 Ocean Park Blvd., Suite 112
Santa Monica, CA,90405
Tel: 310-392-7041
Cell: 310-292-1902<><>

On Oct 17, 2012, at 1:46 PM, Amy Colando (LCA) wrote:

Hi John.

This was intended to address the MRC accreditation scenario that was previously raised.

From: John Simpson []
Sent: Wednesday, October 17, 2012 1:19 PM
To: Amy Colando (LCA)
Subject: Re: Proposed Text for Local Law and Public Purpose


A clarifying question: Can you please give a use case for what sort of data would be collected for "relevant self-regulatory requirements"?

John M. Simpson
Consumer Advocate
Consumer Watchdog
2701 Ocean Park Blvd., Suite 112
Santa Monica, CA,90405
Tel: 310-392-7041
Cell: 310-292-1902<><>

On Oct 17, 2012, at 8:05 AM, Amy Colando (LCA) wrote:

Apologies that I have lost track of Action number, which I will look up later.  Many thanks to Vinay, MeMe and David W. for assisting with this text. Compliance with Local Law and Public Purpose

Normative: Regardless of DNT signal, information MAY be collected, retained, used and shared for complying with applicable laws, regulations, legal obligations and other public purposes, including, but not limited to, intellectual property protection, delivery of emergency services, and relevant self-regulatory verification requirements.

Non-normative: This specification does not purport to require parties to breach existing contractual obligations.  At the same time, it is expected that parties implementing this specification should not enter into new contractual obligations that have the effect of circumventing specification requirements. This specification recognizes that there are legitimate self-regulatory regimes that both protect consumer interests and govern certain data practices, and the specification does not intend to conflict with these regimes. However, parties should whenever possible adhere to the letter and spirit of this specification, and should not look to such regimes as merely a means to circumvent the specification.

Received on Monday, 22 October 2012 16:29:48 UTC