Blog Post

More On FTC’s Proposed Online Advertising Principles

The Federal Trade Commission approved the Google-DoubleClick acquisition Thursday despite privacy concerns — then released proposed principles to encourage better privacy controls for online behavioral advertising. The broad definition of online behavioral advertising: “various tracking activities engaged in by diverse companies across the Web.” The principles, in the works for years, are meant “to encourage more meaningful and enforceable self-regulation.” (Hard not to feel a tad cynical about the timing, as though the proposal is somehow supposed to assuage the concerns consumer groups and others raised about GoogleClick.)

From the proposal: “In developing the principles, FTC staff was mindful of the need to maintain vigorous competition in online advertising as well as the importance of accommodating the wide variety of business models that exist in this area.” The various principles suggested cover “reasonable security, and limited data retention, for consumer data” and “transparency and consumer control.”

— The FTC is seeking comments by Feb. 22 “on the appropriateness and feasibility of these principles for both consumers and businesses, including the costs and benefits of offering choice for behavioral advertising.”