Late last year, the Federal Trade Commission, rather than impose regulations on online advertising, proposed self-policing for internet marketers and sites. The Interactive Advertising Bureau was already working on its own guidelines and today, at its annual meeting in Phoenix, the board of directors approved “privacy principles” to be followed by its members and submitted to the FTC by the end of the month. The IAB’s principles (we’ve posted all five here) are more relaxed than the FTC’s suggestions — for instance, requiring “meaningful notice” rather than a “prominent statement.” IAB describes them “as a roadmap for all industry actors who collect and/or use data to deliver relevant ads online or via other platforms.”
IAB CEO Randall Rothenberg stressed the differences in his statement: “IAB members understand the relationship between consumers and companies is built on trust. As a result, IAB members have long been committed to guarding consumers’ information and privacy. Based on the industry’s experience, we believe the FTC is too rigid on the matters of notice and choice.” Release.
CNET News.com: “… the IAB guidelines would make it less obvious for consumers that their data is being collected for advertising, with a notice buried somewhere on the Web site where the privacy practices are kept. Also, the IAB favors directing consumers to other places where they can opt out if they don’t want their information gathered or used for advertising.”
Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, told News.com (parent CNET (NSDQ: CNET) is an IAB member.): “The FTC didn’t just put the foxes in charge of the hen house, the Commission offered up the blueprints.”