Friday, February 13, 2009

U.S. Federal Trade Commission Discusses Interactive Advertising

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has issued a new report titled "Self-Regulatory Principles For Online Behavioral Advertising" that describes its ongoing examination of online behavioral advertising and sets forth revisions to proposed principles to govern self-regulatory efforts in this area. The key issue concerns how online advertisers can best protect consumers’ privacy while collecting information about their online activities.

One of the FTC commissioners stated that the industry needs to do a better job of meaningful, rigorous self-regulation, or it will certainly invite legislation by Congress and a more regulatory approach by the FTC. This could be the last clear chance to show that self-regulation can – and will – effectively protect consumers’ privacy in a dynamic online marketplace.

This is a global problem that will be addressed in many countries. Regulation will be required. The recent financial crisis shows that the self discipline of many business wanes in the face of large potential gains.

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