At the time, Turn’s then-chief privacy officer and general counsel, Max Ochoa (who left the company in January 2016 for a general counsel post at Westfield Retail Solutions), told AdExchanger that the issue was a simple coding error.
“The way our system was codified, it looked like Turn wasn’t remembering the opt-out, so to Mr. Mayer, it looked like we were doing two things wrong: that we weren’t respecting his cleared cookie and that we weren’t preserving his choice not to receive tailored advertising,” Ochoa said. “In fact, we were preserving that choice, but on our server. We were not delivering ads against those cookies, but [outside sources] couldn’t confirm it.”
Turn declined to comment on the settlement, pointing instead to a blog post in which its current chief privacy officer and general counsel, John Wolf Konstant, noted that the company had terminated its partnership with Verizon in early 2015, at which time it ceased using Verizon’s header identifier.
“After a nearly 2-year process and extended negotiations, we look forward to avoiding further distraction and expense so that we can continue to serve our customers,” Konstant wrote.
After the initial fallout and a deluge of negative media coverage back in January 2015, Verizon gave users the ability to opt out of its persistent tracking mechanism, which was not previously possible.
In March of this year, the FCC settled with Verizon over its use of supercookies. Verizon agreed to pay regulators a $1.4 million fine.
It’s hard to imagine the average consumer taking the time to wade through the consumer opt-out and choices page on the Network Advertising Initiative’s site.
As Mayer put it to AdExchanger in a previous interview: “Opt-out cookies remain a distraction – we know they’re difficult to use and a poor technical design. The best privacy option, for now, is to block advertisements, which is unfortunate.”