|FTC Seeks Tighter Grip Over Online Advertising|
In the most significant review of online advertising in eight years, FTC Commissioners express concern over the state of online advertising and indicated they will increase oversight over the industry.
The NY Times [nytimes.com] reports that at a two day conference held to discuss the state of advertising and consumer privacy, FTC commissioners expressed their intention of increasing oversight and rules over online advertising. Points of concern include online privacy, current opt-out policies, and behavioral targeting.
|People should have dominion over their computers,” he said. “The current ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ in online tracking and profiling has to end.” |
Commissioner Jon Leibowitz also stated that,
|...rules about the privacy policies of Web sites may need to be established. |
Elsewhere the NY Times reports [nytimes.com]:
|It has been eight years since the F.T.C. has held a public workshop on the use of consumer data in online ads, and a lot of the hypothetical situations described then are now a widespread reality. |
High on the agenda of privacy advocates at the conference is a do-no-track rule that also gives consumers the ability to view and edit their online advertising profile.
Welcome news to me. I hope the regulations really have some teeth. The do-no-track option should also be applied to online and offline credit card transactions.
About time. The big boys in online advertising need some oversight.
That's right, you hear that Google?
I'm surprised this hasn't gotten more responses.
I'm an affiliate marketer so my concern is how they propose to deal with cookies which are very essential to properly crediting commissions and sales.
How about anything that relies on cookies for that matter?
Millions would blindly check the box without a care in the world.
Obviously that is an extreme and probably silly possibility but large companies and popular websites that provide a useful service/content that make money through advertising have a good bit of leverage themselves.
If you have the content or service people like, the majority of people could care less about the ads being shown, privacy policies, etc.
A vocal minority will strongly disagree but a minority it is.
While the government is so worried about the complexity of privacy policies... can they address tax law, city ordinances, and cell phone bills? ;)
>>How about anything that relies on cookies for that matter?
There is nothing wrong with cookies. It is the consolidation of lot and lots of cookie data to form individual user trends that is the issue. It is the putting together of data (and the same with credit card transactions as I see) to yield a personal profile that is the problem.
I personally do not want the FTC or any government to have anything to do with anything on the internet if at all possible.
I foresee this having a similar effect on online advertising to what can-spam had on your inbox. Are you really receiving significantly less spam? Legislation will set boundaries that most of us will abide, while the most egregious violators work the edges of the law's jurisdiction. If anything, it widens the gap and increases the incentive to find a way around the rules.
My main concern is how legislators will almost assuredly misunderstand ad serving technologies and botch the regulations. There are so many reasons to 'track' a visitor's actions that are completely legitimate and in no way intrude on privacy. This whole deal has the potential to be the biggest setback that legitimate Internet businesses have ever faced. Well, in the US anyway.
|My main concern is how legislators will almost assuredly misunderstand ad serving technologies and botch the regulations. |
Amen to that. Almost anything government run/regulated is a clumsy, non-sensical bureaucratic mess.
Agreed, legislators don't have a good enough understanding of the technology. Further, there are already solutions available for maintaining one's privacy to one's desired level. Anyone bothered enough about it is already clearing cookies, blocking ads, etc. with freely available software. As for me, I don't really care if Google serves me an ad for widgets today because yesterday I searched for them. If tomorrow I start to care, I'll take advantage of one of the many available privacy tools. Please, don't legislate on my behalf.