The Web Analyst's Code of Ethics
The following Code of Ethics represents an industry effort to treat consumer data with the respect and attention it deserves. It is a commitment to data stewardship and an effort to educate organizations and Internet users globally of digital data collection and utilization practices.
This Code of Ethics was authored by Eric T. Peterson & John Lovett and refined by numerous members of the DAA, the DAA Standards Committee and the Digital Measurement community at large. Special thanks go out to the following individuals for their contributions: Peter Adams, Christopher Berry, Hemash Bhatti, Casey Carey, Josh Dreller, Aaron Fossum, Adam Greco, Anna Long, Jodi McDermott, Massimo Paolini, Judah Phillips, Gustavo Sanchez, Rudi Shumpert, Indu Sriram, Jim Sterne, Charles Thrasher, and Darrin Wood.
About Web Analysts
Web analysts are professionals who use digital measurement tools, digitally collected data and analysis skills to improve the Internet for individuals and institutions. While we are individually responsible to our employers, customers, and clients, we accept that we have a greater accountability to Internet users worldwide to balance data collection and analysis with responsible data stewardship.
We recognize the growing importance of the Internet on society and the influential role that web analytics plays in its use. We realize that ethical action is vital to preserve and develop the Internet ecosystem that serves the online community and society at large. We also understand the need for appropriate and responsible behavior to uphold and advance the integrity of our profession.
For these reasons, we commit ourselves to honesty and personal accountability in our work. Furthermore, we will strive to protect privacy, provide transparency, and educate the Internet community as we seek to improve the accountability of our profession.
The Code of Ethics
As a Web Analyst, my views regarding ethical conduct are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of my clients/employer. I hereby agree to personally follow the Web Analyst’s Code of Ethics regarding consumer data collected on any digital property I work on, with, or for:
PRIVACY – I agree to hold consumer data in the highest regard and will do everything in my power to keep personally identifiable consumer data safe, secure and private. To this end I will never knowingly transfer, release, or otherwise distribute personally identifiable information (PII) gathered through digital channels to any third-party without express permission from the consumer(s) who generated the data. I will also work with my clients/employer where applicable to enforce a cookie and user identification policy that is appropriate and respectful of the consumer experience.
CONSUMER CONTROL – I agree to inform and empower consumers to opt out of my clients/employer data collection practices and to document ways to do this. To this end I will work to ensure that consumers have a means to opt out and to ensure that they are removed from tracking when requested. Further, I will do my best to use tracking and browser-based technologies in the way they were designed and not otherwise circumvent consumer control over their browsing experience.
EDUCATION – I agree to educate my clients/employer about the types of data collected, and the potential risks to consumers associated with those data. To this end I will make every effort to inform my peers of the commitment to data privacy and to educate staff, especially senior management, of current data collection capabilities, data definitions, and potential data risks. Further, I will educate my clients/employer about how these technologies could be perceived of as invasive.
ACCOUNTABILITY – I agree to act as a steward of customer data and to uphold the consumers’ right to privacy as governed by my clients/employer and applicable laws and regulations. To this end I will work with appropriate teams as necessary to ensure that data access lists are up-to-date and that anyone with access to these systems understands how that data can and cannot be used. I will do my best to comply with all practices governing ethical use of consumer data.
By agreeing to the five sections outlined in this Web Analysts Code of Ethics, I also agree to help spread and enforce these standards across the Internet. I recognize that we are far stronger as a community than one individual, and I believe that consistency in voice is important to communicating effectively about the work that I do.
I will support the Digital Analytics Association's efforts to safeguard consumer privacy by providing feedback, referencing this Code and other Association publications, and by advocating for adherence to these standards. If I observe a violation of these standards, I will make a reasonable effort to notify the site owner and provide feedback directly and privately, referencing this Code of Ethics as warranted.