The IAB is set to launch a consumer campaign to increase awareness of the icon that will feature in or around online behavioural advertising ahead of the ePrivacy Directive being fully implemented in May.
Nick Stringer, IAB head of regulatory affairs, said, "The key point is that we want people to be informed. Consumers need to be empowered so they have control. They need to be clear about what information is being collected and used and we need to give them the tools they need to manage it."
The icon, which is being rolled out across Europe as part of the IAB's behavioural advertising framework, is designed to provide consumers with greater awareness and transparency about how their data is being used.
When consumers click on the icon, they will be presented with further information about behavioural targeting as well as a link to the Your Online Choices website in order to manage their preferences.
The self-regulatory website allows consumers to control their own preferences by opting to allow or block companies from collecting and using information in order to provide them with targeted ads.
Since the launch of the control page in the UK in March 2009, the IAB has introduced a new loading screen to explain what is happening while the page loads up, delivering messages such as "Checking browser capabilities – please wait while we check your browser's support for opting out" and "Checking you status – please wait while we check your current status, this may take up to 30 seconds".
There is also a feedback button on every page so consumers can report an issue as soon as it arises.
"It lets us know immediately if there is a problem, if a link isn't working, or if one of the 'opt outs' isn't effective," said Stringer. "As the project gets bigger, it will become even more useful because it enables us to respond very quickly to queries."
According to Stringer, the control page has a 99% success rate.
The website is available in 18 European languages across 22 countries, following its launch in Finland earlier this week. There will be further launches over the next few months until it is available in all European languages.
No matter which country the control page is viewed in, consumers will see the same list of companies and the same functions – the only difference will be the language.
In the UK, the website received 25,000 unique visitors over the past 30 days and of those, 9,000 went on to check their status on the control panel. Stringer was unable to say at this stage how many consumers had chosen to opt out.