Feeds

Google behavioral ads scare US lawmakers

House mulls privacy law

Boost IT visibility and business value

US lawmakers have been itching for a good excuse to slap mandatory security guidelines on online behavioral ad targeting schemes, and apparently, they've found it.

Google's new plan introduced Wednesday to track individual users' browser history to target ads was just the ticket for Democrat Rep. Rich Boucher, the newly-minted chairman of the House subcommittee on communications and the internet.

The Virginia congressman said yesterday he's working on a bill that will put restrictions on how internet companies can collect, save, store, and share user information.

Thus far, online ad firms have enjoyed a Bush administration policy of voluntary, self-regulation for protecting user privacy and disclosing what they do with personal data. But with a new boss in the White House, the FCC recently has taken a firmer stance on its "guidance" for the industry and last month warned online firms it's their "last clear chance" to show self-regulation is effective in policing data-collection policies.

Now Boucher says he's working with other ranking members of the communications subcommittee, Republican Representatives Cliff Stearns and Joe Barton, on a bill to take privacy rules out of the hands of online ad agencies.

"I do believe that there should be a minimum set of statutory requirements that should apply to all behavioral advertising," Boucher told Reuters.

Boucher said that although he doesn't have the details of the plan worked out, it will be based on how prominent Google's behavioral ad policy is displayed and how easily understandable it is to users. He also doesn't have a timetable drawn up for the proposed bill — but with Google's behavioral ad targeting rollout, it certainly could push the issue into the spotlight. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
Feel free to BONK on the TUBE, says Transport for London
Plus: Almost NOBODY uses pay-by-bonk on buses - Visa
Amazon says Hachette should lower ebook prices, pay authors more
Oh yeah ... and a 30% cut for Amazon to seal the deal
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.