Privacy Watchdog Brings Temu into Compliance with Digital Advertising Privacy Best Practices
Aug 29, 2023
McLean, VA – August 29, 2023 – BBB National Programs’ data privacy watchdog, the Digital Advertising Accountability Program (DAAP), successfully brought WhaleCo, Inc. into compliance with the Digital Advertising Alliance’s (DAA) Self-Regulatory Principles for online interest-based advertising (DAA Principles). Since beginning U.S. operations in September 2022, Shanghai-based WhaleCo’s mobile application, Temu, has quickly risen to become one of the top downloaded free apps.
DAAP investigated consumer complaints regarding noncompliance with the DAA Principles on Temu’s website and mobile app. Several issues were found, including 1) difficulty locating information on third-party interest-based advertising (IBA) practices; 2) a broken hyperlink to the third-party IBA opt-out tool, 3) no statement of compliance with DAA Principles, 4) failure to comply with the DAA’s transparency principle for third-party IBA data collection; and 5) the mobile application’s failure to provide enhanced notice for third-party IBA.
In response to DAAP’s inquiry, Temu conducted a comprehensive review of its compliance with the DAA Principles and worked with DAAP to strengthen its compliance protocols, including taking the following actions:
- Relocating the “Sign In” popup to enable users on any browser, whether signed in or not, to access footer links, including the Ad Choices
- Resolving enhanced notice issues under the DAA’s Mobile Guidance by making substantial changes to ensure its IBA disclosures are fully accessible.
In its advertiser statement, Temu stated that it is “proud to adhere to the DAA Principles” and will “work actively with the Digital Advertising Accountability Program to continuously enhance our disclosures about online behavioral advertising.”
All BBB National Programs case decision summaries can be found in the case decision library. For the full text of DAAP decisions, visit the DAAP Decisions and Guidance webpage.
About BBB National Programs: BBB National Programs, a non-profit organization, is the home of U.S. independent industry self-regulation, currently operating more than a dozen globally recognized programs that have been helping enhance consumer trust in business for more than 50 years. These programs provide third-party accountability and dispute resolution services that address existing and emerging industry issues, create a fairer playing field for businesses and a better experience for consumers. BBB National Programs continues to evolve its work and grow its impact by providing business guidance and fostering best practices in arenas such as advertising, child-and-teen-directed marketing, data privacy, dispute resolution, automobile warranty, technology, and emerging areas. To learn more, visit bbbprograms.org.
About the Digital Advertising Accountability Program: The Digital Advertising Accountability Program (DAAP), a division of BBB National Programs, was developed by the Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA) to enforce industry self-regulation principles for data privacy in online and mobile advertising, holding companies accountable to the DAA’s Privacy Principles. DAAP provides guidance to companies looking to comply with industry principles and responds to complaints filed by consumers about online privacy.
Name: Jennie Rosenberg
Job Title: Media Relations
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