Web ad group launches privacy education campaign

Dec 03, 2009

(AP) -- A group of leading Internet publishers and digital marketing services on Thursday launched an online campaign to educate consumers about how they are tracked and targeted for pitches on the Web.

The Interactive Advertising Bureau, based in New York, unveiled its "Privacy Matters" Web site. The site explains how Internet marketers track where people go and what they do online and then mine that data to serve up targeted ads. The practice, known as behavioral advertising, has raised concerns among privacy watchdogs and lawmakers in Congress.

A number of IAB members plan to run banner spots on their Web pages linking back to the Privacy Matters site. Those include Internet-only players such as Yahoo Inc. and Inc. and traditional media outlets such as Co. and The New York Times Co.

The goal of the program, explained IAB Senior Vice President David Doty, is to describe "in plain English" how online advertising works. Among other things, the Privacy Matters Web site offers explanations of demographic targeting, interest group targeting and data-tracking files known as cookies. The site also informs consumers how they can control the information collected about them by changing their cookies settings.

The new campaign is part of a broader self-regulatory push by the Interactive Advertising Bureau and other advertising trade groups that want to head off federal regulation.

Rep. Rick Boucher, D-Va., chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet, is currently leading an effort to draft a bill that would impose broad new obligations on Web sites and online advertisers. His proposal will aim to ensure that consumers know what information is being collected about them on the Web and how it is being used, and to give them control over that information.

©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Explore further: Brief Facebook outage prompts complaints on Twitter

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Congress weighs landmark change in Web ad privacy

Sep 07, 2009

(AP) -- The Web sites we visit, the online links we click, the search queries we conduct, the products we put in virtual shopping carts, the personal details we reveal on social networking pages - all of this can give companies ...

Congress concerned about privacy over cable TV ads (Update)

Apr 23, 2009

(AP) -- Congress put cable TV operators on notice that it will scrutinize their plans to roll out targeted advertising to viewers, questioning whether they will use set-top boxes sitting in millions of homes to monitor and ...

Congress to hold hearing on cable advertising

Apr 22, 2009

(AP) -- Cable operators will sit in the hot seat Thursday as Congress reviews their plans to roll out targeted advertising amid fears that consumer privacy could be infringed if the companies were to track and record viewing ...

Advertisers face resistance to on-line tracking

Nov 08, 2009

Campaigners are stepping up efforts to curb online tracking of Internet use by firms that deliver adverts tailored to the specific interests of consumers, as polls reveal widespread unease with the practice.

Recommended for you

Social network challenges end in tragedy

8 hours ago

Online challenges daring people to set themselves ablaze or douse themselves in ice water are racking up casualties and fueling wonder regarding idiocy in the Internet age.

States debate digital currency

9 hours ago

Now that consumers can use digital currencies like bitcoin to buy rugs from Overstock.com, pay for Peruvian pork sandwiches from a food truck in Washington, D.C., and even make donations to political action committees, states ...

User comments : 0