Regulation IS Coming to Online Ads

I argued early last year that if behavioral targeting and tracking became too pervasive and/or aggressive we’d see some form of regulation from Washington. It’s coming. As the NY Times reported yesterday:

10 major privacy groups plan to demand new privacy legislation from Congress regarding online behavioral tracking and ad targeting.

The roster of groups is a who’s who in consumer and privacy circles: Consumers Union, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Consumer Federation of America, Center for Digital Democracy, U.S. Public Interest Research Group, and others.

Among the things they’re asking for: No sensitive information (like health or financial information) should be used for behavioral tracking, no one under 18 should be behaviorally tracked, Web sites and ad networks shouldn’t be able to keep behavioral data for more than a day without getting an OK from the individual they’re tracking, and behavioral data can’t be used for discriminatory purposes.

Some Congress members have indicated they will consider such legislation in the fall.

These ideas will not strike anyone in Congress as unreasonable. Just as everyone under the sun is doing retargeting, I predict that some version of the ideas expressed in the second paragraph above will be enacted into law or imposed through some existing regulatory framework.

Get ready for it. All the industry can really do is voluntarily adopt some version of these ideas to potentially pre-empt their imposition from above.


4 Responses to “Regulation IS Coming to Online Ads”

  1. marcelo antelo Says:

    I think those groups still thinking that the internet is something owned by the americans or that the US is still the center of the internet world and that the economic crises led then to learn nothing regarding the new economics of the 21st century!

    It does not!

    And someday, near today, the americans Co. will discover that the internet outside the US is bigger, non regulated and wide openned to do anything U want without fear of regulations, there is places were the americans Co. will do all those things prohibited in their borders! Hypocrisy!

    Personaly, I laught when I read things like this!

  2. Boim3 » Hösten är på gång Says:

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