The Digital Signage Group, the advocacy and standards arm of Point of Purchase Advertising International (POPAI) focusing on the digital signage industry, has published the industry’s first code of conduct for the utilization and deployment of consumer tracking research and technology.
More than 18 months in development, the code of conduct, titled “Best Practices: Recommended Code of Conduct for Consumer Tracking Research,” provides recommendations to marketers on maintaining ethical boundaries with consumer data and suggestions on how consumer observations and marketing insights should be collected and used.
“While the code of conduct is voluntary, it is an important first step in creating an industry-wide consensus about how to address the concerns that come along with the exploratory use of observed tracking data,” said Richard Winter, president of Alexandria, Va.-based POPAI. “Countless hours were spent meeting with and interviewing digital marketers, consumer privacy groups, members of Congress and the Federal Trade Commission to develop guidelines that are ethically sound but do not diminish the technological advances being made in the industry.”
While the digital signage industry’s present level of privacy infringement is not especially high because only a small percentage of digital signage units have audience measurement, identification or interactive capabilities, the privacy issue is real.
“As digital out-of-home (DOOH) media continues to trend toward greater identification and surveillance capability, it is important that our industry regulate itself,” said Bill Gerba, POPAI Digital Signage Group advocacy chair and CEO of WireSpring Technologies. “It is very likely that DOOH media will one day regularly identify individual consumers, putting our industry on a direct collision course with consumer privacy. These guidelines serve everybody’s best interests, including the consumer’s, by establishing credible and transparent standards before the problem hits center-stage.”
POPAI’s Digital Signage Group believes that consumer privacy can become an enabler, not an impediment to the digital signage industry if proactive not reactive steps are taken.
Members of the Digital Signage Group committee that drew up the Code of Conduct, along with consumer privacy legal experts and advocates, will participate in a seminar titled “Navigate the Consumer Privacy Issue…” at DSE 2010. Interested attendees can register for the seminar a la carte or as part of a two-day or one-day educational conference package.