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Want to Opt Out of Targeted Mobile Ads? There's an App for That

Meets forthcoming DAA mobile privacy standards

The mobile counterpart to the ad industry's ad choices self-regulatory program that allows consumers to opt-out of online-targeted ads is finally here. And yes, there's an app for it.

Called Ad Control, the app gives consumers a way to opt out of cross-app advertising. Developed by Evidon, the app is now available in the Apple App Store. An Android version will be available later this month.

When the Digital Advertising Alliance announces in two weeks its mobile privacy standards, Evidon's app will allow for compliance.

The DAA rolled out its ad choices program two years ago in response to growing concerns at the Federal Trade Commission and in the government that consumers needed to be given a choice to opt out of behaviorally targeted ads. Though regulators seem satisfied that the industry is working to protect consumer privacy online through self-regulation, they've been pressing for a mobile solution, which the industry has been promising to deliver for more than a year.

Because Evidon provides the privacy controls for many of the companies participating in the DAA's online Ad Choices program, Ad Control is launching with broad participation from the mobile ad industry including VivaKi, GroupM and IPG Mediabrands, responsible for about 60 percent of all mobile ads, and 20 leading mobile ad networks such as Google Ad Exchange, Tapad, ActionX, MediaMath and Jumptap.

"The participants are a huge portion of the mobile ad volume," said Evidon CEO Scott Meyer, who was in Washington Wednesday showing off the new app to the Federal Trade Commission.

Finding a mobile solution for Ad Choices was not easy because apps don't use cookies nor do they all use a universal signal or identifier to track consumers. But Evidon found a way to overcome the differences and Meyer said companies don't have to do hardly any tech work to integrate with the app.

For a consumer, Ad Control is simple to use. If a consumer sees the blue ad choices icon on a mobile ad, the consumer will be sent to download the app. Or, a consumer can download the app and slide the button to indicate "ad tracking" on or off for each of the listed companies in the app. Opting out does not mean that the consumer will stop seeing ads, but it does mean that opted-out company will no longer use data to target ads.

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