One proposal would make data collection more transparent to consumers, and require an opt-out mechanism on sites that gather data.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) today released five proposed guidelines for self-regulation in the behavioral advertising industry.
The guidelines document suggests a general framework for how Web sites and other stakeholders in the behavioral ad space should communicate with Web users, gather data about their online activities and treat that data once they've collected it. With the release, the FTC opened a two-month comment period, after which the FTC may release formal guidelines.
The first and perhaps the most glaring of the proposals aims to make data collection more transparent to consumers, of whom "few appear to understand the role that data collection plays" in subsidizing free content, the FTC says. The suggested rule also calls for an opt-out mechanism on all sites engaged in behavioral targeting.
According to the proposed guideline, "Every Web site where data is collected for behavioral advertising should provide a clear, concise, consumer-friendly, and prominent statement noting that (1) data about consumers' activities online is being collected... and (2) consumers can choose whether or not to have their information collected for such purpose."
The would-be rule also indicates such sites should provide "a clear, easy-to-use, and accessible method for exercising this option."
Other principles include one requiring "reasonable security" of consumer data; one proposing companies keep data only long enough to fill a "legitimate business need;" and another insisting data collectors only gather sensitive data such as information on a consumer's health or children's activities if they've obtained express consent.
If the language seems exceedingly non-specific, there's a reason, said Eileen Harrington, the FTC's deputy director for consumer protection.
"We are proposing broad principles and self-regulation... precisely because of the rapidly changing and evolving nature of these practices, including the parties and the nature of the parties that participate in them," Harrington told ClickZ News. "These principles are intended to be broad enough and flexible enough to encompass anyone who is operating in that space."
Two additional guidelines cover the use of data tracking for purposes other than behavioral advertising, and notifying consumers of policy changes regarding the use of behavioral data.
The complete proposed guidelines document is available on the FTC's Web site.
On the heels of a fantastic event in New York City, ClickZ Live is taking the fun and learning to Toronto, June 23-25. With over 15 years' experience delivering industry-leading events, ClickZ Live offers an action-packed, educationally-focused agenda covering all aspects of digital marketing. Register today!
Want to learn more? Join us at ClickZ Live San Francisco, Aug 10-12!
Educating marketers for over 15 years, ClickZ Live brings together industry thought leaders from the largest brands and agencies to deliver the most advanced, educational digital marketing agenda. Register today and save $500!
Until March 2012, Zach Rodgers was managing editor of ClickZ's award-winning coverage of news and trends in digital marketing. He reported on the rise of web companies, data markets, ad technologies, and government Internet policy, among other subjects.
Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce
This Magic Quadrant examines leading digital commerce platforms that enable organizations to build digital commerce sites. These commerce platforms facilitate purchasing transactions over the Web, and support the creation and continuing development of an online relationship with a consumer.
Paid Search in the Mobile Era
Google reports that paid search ads are currently driving 40+ million calls per month. Cost per click is increasing, paid search budgets are growing, and mobile continues to dominate. It's time to revamp old search strategies, reimagine stale best practices, and add new layers data to your analytics.
June 10, 2015
12:00pm ET/9:00am PT