Privacy Watchdog Brings Temu into Compliance with Digital Advertising Privacy Best Practices

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 operations in September 2022, 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: 

  • Adding an “Ad Choices” link at the bottom of each page of the Temu website that takes users directly to the top of a newly edited privacy policy section titled “Interest-based Advertising” that provides elements of enhanced notice, including 1) a description of Temu’s third-party IBA practices, 2) a link to industry-developed IBA opt-out tools, and 3) a statement of adherence to the DAA Principles.
  • Relocating the "Sign In" popup to enable users on any browser, whether signed in or not, to access footer links, including the Ad Choices link.
  • 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

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