FTC: No Gov’t Online Ad Regulation Threat

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The two-day town hall meeting being held in Washington DC by the Federal Trade Commission had a common theme: avoiding government regulation.

Nothing strikes more fear into the heart of a businessperson, in any industry, than the specter of bureaucratic paperwork generated by government mandates. It’s just as true for Google and the online ad industry as it is for anyone else.

Federal Trade Commission

Fortunately, the FTC seems eager to avoid inconveniencing anyone for the sake of protecting the privacy of Internet users.

FTC commissioner Jon Leibowitz expressed concern about current practices, saying it should "really trouble all of us that seemingly anonymous searching and surfing can be traced back to specific individuals."

But as far as putting the all-seeing eye of a federal agency over these practices, Leibowitz isn’t in a huge hurry:

Consider changing the widespread opt-out default for ad-serving cookies – why not make it opt in? At this point, I’m not sure that government should mandate an opt-in model but, in my view, it is a far more preferable result.

Leibowitz called the issue of behavioral marketing "complicated." He wants the current don’t ask, don’t tell, policy to end. But he wants it to happen voluntarily.





FTC: No Gov’t Online Ad Regulation Threat
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