How To: Understanding the Network Advertising Initiative and How to Opt Out

The Network Advertising Initiative (NAI) develops standards for online advertising. It is an industry trade group which was formed in 1999. This group was created by advertisers because of concerns from the Federal Trade Commission and consumer groups that online advertising was harming user privacy.

The NAI creates guidelines for participating advertisers and advertising networks as well as methods for consumers to opt-out of online advertising. Because the system is self-regulated, it has been criticized for being ineffective in promoting privacy.

The NAI Opt-out Tool lets consumers opt-out of the behavioral advertising delivered by member companies.

To use the NAI Opt-out Tool, go here.

To opt out of an NAI member’s advertising program:

  1. Select the checkbox that corresponds to the company from which you wish to opt out. Alternatively, you can click Select all and each member’s opt-out box is enabled for you.
  2. Next, click Submit your choices. The system automatically replaces the specified advertising cookie(s) and verifies your opt-out status.

Please note that opting out of a network does not mean you will no longer receive online advertising. It does mean that the network from which you opted out will no longer deliver ads tailored to your preferences and usage patterns.