Dear Readers: The deadline is fast approaching to send us your comments on the Federal Trade Commission's proposed Do-Not-Track mechanism for online advertising. This is a rare chance to influence the policy debate around online privacy. Don't miss it!
ClickZ will submit feedback to the FTC by the January 31 deadline - consisting of the views of our contributors and you, our readers. To guarantee inclusion, we must receive your comments at FTCfeedback@clickz.com no later than Saturday, January 15.
If you are interested, please first check out the FTC's related report, "Protecting Consumer Privacy in an Era of Rapid Change." (PDF download). Pay special attention to pages 63 to 69, dealing with do-not-track. Then write responses to one or more of these 11 questions laid out by the FTC:
How should a universal choice mechanism be designed for consumers to control online behavioral advertising?
How can such a mechanism be offered to consumers and publicized?
How can such a mechanism be designed to be clear, easy-to-find, usable, and understandable to consumers?
How can such a mechanism be designed so that it is clear to consumers what they are choosing and what the limitations of the choice are?
What are potential costs and benefits of offering a standardized uniform choice mechanism to control online behavioral advertising?
How many consumers would likely choose to avoid receiving targeted advertising?
How many consumers, on an absolute and percentage basis, have utilized the opt-out tools currently provided?
What is the likely impact if large numbers of consumers elect to opt out? How would it affect online publishers and advertisers, and how would it affect consumers?
In addition to providing the option to opt out of receiving ads completely, should a universal choice mechanism for online behavioral advertising include an option that allows consumers more granular control over the types of advertising they want to receive and the type of data they are willing to have collected about them?
Should the concept of a universal choice mechanism be extended beyond online behavioral advertising and include, for example, behavioral advertising for mobile applications?
If the private sector does not implement an effective uniform choice mechanism voluntarily, should the FTC recommend legislation requiring such a mechanism?
Please limit your written comments to 1,000 words or less. When ready, submit them to us via e-mail at FTCfeedback@clickz.com. Our editors are on hand to answer questions you may have about the process. Thank you!
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.