As technology, and more specifically digital advertising, integrates itself into society, consumers frequently express concern over privacy and consent issues. While this apprehension is more pronounced in the millennia, it is certainly not new. The U.S. government and digital advertising agencies, like US Interactive Media, have taken measures to respond to and alleviate these growing concerns.
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act, or TCPA, was enacted in 1991 and implemented within the FCC in 1992 (fcc.gov). Originally, the TCPA meant to protect consumers from non-consented telemarketing phone calls. However, as technology advanced, adjustments were needed to protect consumers. The national Do-Not-Call registry in 2003 aimed to further protect consumer privacy, while the TCPA revision, which went into effect in 2013, put consumer consent in the spotlight. The updated TCPA required telemarketers to, “obtain prior express written consent from consumers…no longer allow…us[ing] an ‘established business relationship’ to avoid getting consent from consumers…and…provide an automated, interactive ‘opt-out’ mechanism…” (fcc.gov). With the popularity of texting and the internet morphing into an advertising and information rich medium, the revised TCPA evidently regulates digital advertising agencies and how they market to consumers.
US Interactive Media has a process in place to uphold the revised TCPA, including specific requirements for publishers. Firstly, all direct response vendors that work with USIM must acknowledge the TCPA agreement. Publishers who run call centers have call recordings monitored monthly to ensure potential customers not only want or need a certain product or service, but also acknowledge the recorded call. Additionally, USIM reviews publishers’ landing pages monthly to ensure that all client and TCPA requirements are met and displayed. A consent box (where a user has to check whether or not they give consent to be contacted -part of the “prior express written consent”) is mandatory on all pages.
Regulating a digital environment becomes increasingly harder as technology rapidly evolves. The growing digital advertising industry is specifically monitored on how consumers are marketed to and protected. Through laws and company policies, the issues consumers have with consent and privacy are noted and addressed. USIM works hard both internally and with publishers to ensure that all TCPA requirements are met, so in the end, what you want is what you get.