Feeds

Google behavioral ads scare US lawmakers

House mulls privacy law

The next step in data security

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. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Bono: Apple will sort out monetising music where the labels failed
Remastered so hard it would be difficult or impossible to master it again
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.