Chrysler rolls out behavioral tracking opt-out program

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Chrysler Group has attached online behavioral tracking opt-out technology to its online ads and to advertisements running on its brand sites, the company said May 13. The car manufacturer partnered with Evidon, its online behavioral advertising compliance provider, on the program.

When consumers click on the Ad Choices icon, which appears in the corner of an ad, a pop-up box details how the ad was targeted to that consumer and allows him or her to opt out of behavioral tracking. Consumers who click on Chrysler's site notices receive information about what third-party companies are collecting data, and they can block the data collection of individual or all companies.

Chrysler first began featuring the in-ad notices last December, said Evidon CEO Scott Meyer. The company staggered the implementation “to ensure a smooth adoption for all of the Chrysler Group brands,” said Susan Thomson, head of media at Chrysler Group, via email.

“The notification system has been set in place to make consumers aware of how their information is being gathered and used in the online advertising process,” said Thomson. “This system will empower consumers to decide if they want to opt out of behaviorally targeted advertising or continue to have these tailored advertisements marketed directly to them.”

US Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) introduced the first Senate bill of this Congress to call for a universal opt-out mechanism on May 9. The Do Not Track Me Online Act of 2011, presented by US Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) in February, also called for such a mechanism.

Asked to what extent the recent legislative proposals influenced the timing of the program's launch, Thomson said: “This was definitely something that we continue to monitor, and given the discussions, it was important that we were out in front and not playing catch-up.”

Evidon developed similar self-regulatory programs for Bank of America, General Motors Co. and Procter & Gamble. Meyer said that “over the next 10 days,” Evidon will roll out a b-to-b advertising campaign featuring brands who are complying with the self-regulatory programs.

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