by Mike Masnick
Thu, Mar 20th 2008 2:42am
A New York Assembly member is pushing to outlaw targeted advertising without opt-in approval. Given the scrutiny facing companies like Phorm in the UK, this isn't all that surprising. However, the complaints around Phorm are that it tracks all of your surfing activity and generates ads based on that aggregate info. The bill that is being discussed in New York would apparently apply to websites that do targeted advertising within the site. That seems both extreme and unnecessary. Even though the law would technically only apply to New York, since it would be difficult to figure out who's in NY and who's elsewhere, it would force many providers to get rid of targeted advertising. It seems a bit extreme to think that targeted advertising should be banned entirely, without an initial opt-in. By this point, most people probably expect basic targeting to take place, and when done right, such targeted ads should be more effective. The real problem comes in when such targeting presents a privacy violation, but the focus then should be on privacy laws, not specifically targeting a single activity such as targeted ads.
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