Feeds

FTC gives behavioral ad punters one last chance

Voluntary self-regulation's final shot

High performance access to file storage

'First party' behavioral ads need not apply

The FTC decided that their voluntary guidelines don't apply to "first party" behavioral advertising - ads using data collected by and at a single website. It claims this kind of data collection is less likely to lead to consumer harm and therefore the four principles need not cover that practice.

The Commission's principles also can be brushed off by "contextual advertising" - ads based on a user's current visit to a single webpage or a single search query that doesn't involve retention of data beyond the immediate ad result.

Although the report was approved by a vote of 4-0, statements by some commissioners indicate they think more needs to be done.

"The staff report, while commendable, focuses too narrowly," said FTC commissioner Pamela Jones Harbour. "Threats to consumer privacy abound, both online and offline, and behavioral advertising represents just one aspect of a multifaceted privacy conundrum surrounding data collection and use."

Commissioner Leibowitz said the industry needs to shape up or the days of self-policing are over.

"Industry needs to do a better job of meaningful, rigorous self-regulation, or it will certainly invite legislation by Congress and a more regulatory approach by our Commission," he said. "Put simply, this could be the last clear chance to show that self-regulation can - and will - effectively protect consumers' privacy in a dynamic online marketplace."

Many privacy advocates such as the Center for Digital Democracy say the government needs to set legal guidelines for targeted advertising now.

"We don't believe that the FTC has sufficiently analyzed the current state of interactive marketing and data collection," said Jeff Chester, executive director for the Center for Digital Democracy in a statement. "Otherwise, it would have been able to articulate a better definition of behavioral targeting that would illustrate why legislative safeguards are now required. It should not have exempted 'First Party' sites from the Principles; users need to know and approve what kinds of data collection for targeting are being done at that specific online location."

Chester said the American government shouldn't let the public remain vulnerable to the data collection and "targeting lures" of online marketing, and more meaningful action is required. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Nokia offers 'voluntary retirement' to 6,000+ Indian employees
India's 'predictability and stability' cited as mobe-maker's tax payment deadline nears
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
It may be ILLEGAL to run Heartbleed health checks – IT lawyer
Do the right thing, earn up to 10 years in clink
France bans managers from contacting workers outside business hours
«Email? Mais non ... il est plus tard que six heures du soir!»
Adrian Mole author Sue Townsend dies at 68
RIP Blighty's best-selling author of the 1980s
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.