Behavioral Advertisers Try To Come Up With Code Of Conduct Before FTC Writes One For Them

from the self-regulation dept

While the US Congress came down hard on NebuAd for its "behavioral targeting" ad program that would be used by ISPs to track everywhere you surfed and toss up relevant ads based on overall surfing activity, the FTC was a lot more hands-off. Instead, it simply suggested that the industry figure out a way to self-regulate before the FTC felt the need to step in. So, of course, they're now trying to work out guidelines for behavioral advertising. While I tend to be against putting in place gov't regulation where there's no evidence that it's necessary, I always find industries claiming that they'll "self-regulate" amusing. It's hard to see them coming up with guidelines that will satisfy people who believe their privacy is being violated. About the only way to do that would be to make such a service entirely opt-in -- and that seems unlikely (at best).

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Neverhood, Jan 19th, 2009 @ 3:05am


    Then what would the solution be?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Blatant Coward, Jan 19th, 2009 @ 3:58am

    "Nuke the site from orbit, it's the only way to be sure."

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    mkam, Jan 19th, 2009 @ 6:06am

    Re: Solution

    I think mike said it when he said make the system opt-in. That way the people whose privacy you are violating at least made a conscious decision to have it done.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Film Buffer, Jan 19th, 2009 @ 6:26am


    Aliens... good movie.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Jon, Jan 19th, 2009 @ 6:42am

    Another option

    Opt-in is the sort of solution that only comes about when there's massive, massive public outcry (or some kind of huge scandal). Even telemarketing has finagled an opt-out system.

    The only solution I can think of would be for marketing organizations to pay ISPs to store and maintain each of their users' compressed search history, with an online method available for a user to wipe their current history or to opt-out entirely. The ISP would request particular ads from marketing companies and pass those ads along to their users, but the marketers would not be able to discern which of the ISP's customers the ads were for. This would provide a shield between marketers and users, and customers would have some recourse if they felt their rights were being infringed.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Hicks, Jan 19th, 2009 @ 7:06am


    Fuckin A!!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    CouchSurfer, Jan 19th, 2009 @ 7:51am

    Re: Solution

    Just don't use the internet, then you don't have to worry about your privace being violated.. Sheesh!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    AD NY, Jan 19th, 2009 @ 12:06pm

    Behavioral targeting is ingenious idea

    Behavioral targeting is in fact an ingenious idea.

    It serves both the prospective consumers and the Advertisers with more potentially refined and relevant output.

    Looking at the history of 20th century advertising .... can see we are entering a new era with the Web. We are not just searching for brilliant campaigns for the masses; we are fine tuning our efforts to serve both the small, medium to large clients with the most ROI for their dollars

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Dan, Jan 19th, 2009 @ 7:40pm

    self regulation?

    Sure, why not. Look how well it worked for Wall Street, the airlines, telcos and the energy industry. Did I miss anybody?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    Capt Obvious, Jan 19th, 2009 @ 9:28pm

    Code of Conduct

    Code of Conduct:
    1) Do not use Windows
    2) If you ignore #1, disable all unnecessary services (especially ActiveX) and use something other than IE
    3) Only enable Javascript when you absolutely have to have it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    gene_cavanaugh, Jan 20th, 2009 @ 5:51am

    Regulators and the market

    Great! Presenting both sides of the question!
    I am well aware that "pegging" on one side of an issue will promote readership - people don't have to think, they just react emotionally.
    Long term, though, one comes to the realization that there are two sides to nearly ANY controversy, and "why didn't I get both sides?" becomes an issue - and another obsolete business method bites the dust!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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