Device ID and E-Privacy Directive: Q&A With David Norris, CEO, BlueCava

February 20, 2012 Source:


Have we come up with an appropriate gloomy moniker for May 26 yet? That would be the deadline for Internet publishers in the UK to fall in step with the European Union's E-Privacy Directive, disallowing the use of cookies unless consumers opt in. D-Day seems like a tacky epithet, while "The Day the Cookies Crumble" seems too long (and overly dramatic). Any suggestions?

As zero hour (perhaps "Zero Cookie Hour" could work?) grows closer, BlueCava, which purveys device identification services for advertising purposes, has upgraded its platform to offer clients complete compliance with the E-Privacy Directive. We talked a bit with CEO David Norris, who provided a smart encapsulation of device ID in targeted advertising last week, about how BlueCava keeps in line with the directive while aslo learning a bit more about the enhanced user control offered by the solution.

How does BlueCava's upgraded platform ensure compliance with the EU Privacy Directive? How can a publisher set up an opt-in or opt-out model?

BlueCava works closely with the EU privacy authorities to ensure that BlueCava’s device identification technology is compliant with the E-Privacy Directive. Because the privacy laws continue to evolve, BlueCava will continue to invest to keep our technology compliant with the most recent changes in EU privacy law. BlueCava enables sites to choose an opt-out or opt-in model. Because our Device Identification technology can save the users’ choice, without using cookies, their choice (opt-in or opt-out) is persistent, meaning it is not lost when a user clears their cookies. This provides an enhanced privacy model that is better for consumers.

Do you think the EU E-Privacy Directive represents a mortal threat to the cookie? Will cookies continue to thrive, or is the future of the tracking tool murky?

The E-Privacy Directive is not really against cookies, but rather it is focused on ensuring that consumers make an explicit choice and that sites adhere to that choice. If a user opts out, then the site should honor that. If a user opts in, sites should also honor that. The trend is to use device identification to persistently save the users’ choice, then use cookies once the user has given permission to do so. So device ID has surfaced as a key technology for protecting the consumers’ privacy choices.

What other new tricks await users of this new version of the BlueCava software? What else do you hope to offer in the future?

BlueCava’s technology is ushering in a new era of privacy capabilities, which will enable the consumer to play an active role in how they experience online advertising and how targeting information about each consumer is managed. BlueCava gives the consumer a role to play in online advertising and over time, consumers will begin to realize how valuable they are to advertisers.

Is device identification seeing real market penetration? What's helping its momentum and what's getting in its way?

BlueCava is seeing significant market penetration across many sections, including publishers, advertisers, data providers, and analytics/measurement providers. There are a number of factors that are causing such a huge growth in the device identification area, including: massive growth in the number of different devices being used by consumers, stronger privacy requirements, and a strong desire to tailor advertising to the end consumer.

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