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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 09:26:47 -0400
Message-ID: <5065A597.507@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>
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 

* 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 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 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
Received on Friday, 28 September 2012 13:27:22 UTC

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