Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, thank you for inviting BlueKai to testify at this timely and important hearing. My name is Alan Chapell, and I am the outside counsel and privacy officer for BlueKai Incorporated, a digital data company with headquarters in Cupertino, California.
It is an honour to appear before this committee. I am pleased to describe BlueKai's business and share with the committee some of the privacy innovations we've developed at BlueKai.
BlueKai's mission is to build the world's first complete enterprise platform for data-driven marketing with the utmost attention and diligence to ensuring consumer privacy. We offer a data management platform that enables advertisers to collect, store, and utilize anonymous consumer preference data. Since our founding in 2007, BlueKai has embraced the privacy by design ideals championed by Information and Privacy Commissioner Dr. Ann Cavoukian. We recognize the importance of incorporating privacy into our products and services and have fostered a culture of protecting consumer privacy interests from day one.
BlueKai's platform enables businesses to utilize pseudonymous bits of marketing data for online behavioural advertising and analytics purposes. The platform allows businesses to create target audiences based on a combination of their own data and third party data in order to reach their target audiences across third party advertising networks and exchanges. The platform also helps those businesses to measure with accuracy which campaigns performed in order to refine media buys and advertise creatively over time.
The marketing data stored on the data management platform is generally governed by the privacy polices of our clients. BlueKai offers guidelines to help ensure that our clients understand the applicable privacy law and self-regulatory standards.
BlueKai also offers a data exchange that enables businesses to utilize pseudonymous third party data for their digital advertising campaigns. We take steps to ensure that the third party marketing data listed on the BlueKai Exchange meets or exceeds applicable privacy law and self-regulatory standards.
BlueKai is a board member of the Network Advertising Initiative, a coalition of more than 95 leading online advertising companies committed to shaping and enforcing responsible privacy practices for online behavioural advertising. We are also a member of the Digital Advertising Alliance, the industry-wide self-regulatory program for online behavioural advertising. We've been active in the behavioural advertising self-regulatory movement in North America, Europe, and the rest of the world since our founding.
We understand that a similar behavioural advertising self-regulatory program is being developed in Canada. Further, this program's privacy requirements are generally in harmony with the policy position on online behavioural advertising offered by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada. BlueKai has historically been a leader on the move to industry self-regulation. We aspire to continue that pattern and be one of the first companies to participate in the Canadian self-regulatory initiative when it is launched.
Last but not least, BlueKai participates actively in the World Wide Web Consortium's tracking protection working group to develop a browser-based do-not-track standard.
In addition to being active participants in industry self-regulation for online behavioural advertising, BlueKai has a history of innovating on privacy issues. l'd like to share two of those privacy innovations with the committee today.
The first is the BlueKai Registry. BlueKai was one of the first digital marketing companies to provide consumers with enhanced transparency by offering access to marketing data via the BlueKai Registry. The BlueKai Registry, which is available at BlueKai.com, brings transparency to consumers by allowing them to see what preferences are being stored via the BlueKai cookies on their computer.
Furthermore, consumers may also control their anonymous profile by managing their topics of interest. We strongly believe that offering consumers this level of transparency and control builds consumer trust. We've seen that in practice; relatively few consumers who visit the BlueKai registry actually opt out from further use of their preference data. This suggests to us that consumers who understand BlueKai's practices are generally less concerned by them.
The second innovation is the BlueKai opt-out protection tool. One of the challenges to offering opt-out choice in an online advertising context is that cookies serve a dual purpose. In other words, cookies are used to store marketing data and to record an Internet user's opt-out choice.
When Internet users delete all of their cookies, their opt-out choice may also be deleted. The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada has proposed that opt-out choice is appropriate for most forms of online behavioural advertising; however, the Privacy Commissioner also recommends that such choice be made persistent. This recommendation is in line with the recommendations made by regulators across the globe. BlueKai has taken steps to meet those recommendations with the BlueKai opt-out protection tool.
Utilizing some open-source code, BlueKai developed a Firefox browser plug-in that was designed to protect user opt-out choice even when users have deleted their Internet cookies. This code was licensed to the Network Advertising Initiative, so all NAI member companies were able to leverage the opt-out protector technology. This opt-out protection concept was further embraced by the Digital Advertising Alliance and expanded to include most major Internet browsers.
We're proud that our hard work was able to help BlueKai and other online behavioural advertising companies to protect consumer privacy choices. We take privacy very seriously at BlueKai and are happy to have had the opportunity to share some of our privacy innovations with this committee.
I'd be happy to answer any questions.