On November 19, 2012, 40 German advertising associations launched the “German Data Protection Council for Online Advertising,” a new initiative to coordinate and enforce self-regulation in the German online behavioral advertising (“OBA”) sector. The initiative is linked to the European Interactive Digital Advertising Alliance (“EDAA”), which manages the self-regulation efforts of the European online advertising industry.

The German initiative aims to increase OBA transparency through the use of codes of conduct (in German) for participating advertisers, the European OBA icon, as well as a tool to set user preferences. The OBA icon (in German) enables users to obtain additional information about the data being collected and must appear in the online advertisements of participating advertisers.

The new tool (in German) enables users in Germany to set their preferences regarding which advertisers, if any, may place cookies on their computers. The tool is offered through the EDAA, which operates a similar website that supports “a pan-European industry initiative to enhance transparency and control for online behavioural advertising.”

This self-regulation initiative is being introduced approximately one year after the Article 29 Working Party rejected an earlier effort to promote OBA self-regulation.