Adbrain commits to improve opt-out options after warning from industry watchdog

Mobile advertising company Adbrain will be revising its opt-out procedures after an industry watchdog warned that the firm was not offering acceptable options for consumers.

According to the Online Interest-Based Advertising Accountability Program by the Better Business Bureau (BBB), opt-out instructions were “incomplete and cumbersome”.

Adbrain is a UK-based ad company which offers targeting and cross-device tracking capabilities via its Identity AI product, which links to consumer device IDs.

Although technically an opt-out option does exist, it requires a series of steps that include a mobile user having to manually enter their device ID into a website. The whole process is made even harder for Apple device owners who may find it difficult to locate their IDs.

In a formal review, the bureau found that though the opt-out was working, “the barriers to effectuating the opt out were so significant that the tool did not serve as an easy-to-use means for consumers to exercise choice about Adbrain’s use of their data”.

Further, the advertising firm did not provide information for device users to locate their device IDs.

After originally receiving the bureau’s review, Adbrain did revise its opt-out options. However, these were not deemed sufficient enough by the BBB. It wrote:

When designing an opt-out mechanism, companies must be sure to give users access to real choice. This means that companies should make opting out easy, and they should ensure that any relevant instructions are complete, correct, and comprehensible to the typical consumer.

Accordingly, the company has promised to adopt further changes to its opt-out mechanism. It issued a statement to confirm its current work with ePrivacy and other consultants to comply with EU General Data Protection Regulation.