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Behavioral Targeting: FTC to Crack Down on Internet Ads that Invade Privacy

By August 3, 2009June 16th, 2013Internet Lawyer

internet privacyThere’s a reason for the Google Privacy Policy Change for its Interest Based Advertising. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has made protecting consumer privacy from behavioral targeted advertising a high priority. The FTC is tired of spyware and other measures used to track consumers online in order to deliver advertising based on information provided online and website viewing habits.

Google and other advertisers argue that using methods like the DoubleClick dart cookie to track enhances website viewing experience by providing readers with advertising that matches their interests. And it is unlikely that the FTC would disagree with this position.

The sticking point is transparency and informed consent. By regulation or Congressional legislation, look for the FTC to crackdown on interest based advertising except in instances where the consumer has specifically opted in to receive such advertising.

What’s this mean for Internet marketing? Behavioral marketing will continue to exist but there will be a price to pay in order to get collect the information needed to deliver targeted ads based on reader preferences. Some type of carrot (money, special report, coupons, etc.) will need to be provided as an incentive for consumers to sign up for behavioral targeted ads and the related use of tracking cookies and other devices to collect personal data as they surf the Web.

Mike Young, Esq.

Author Mike Young, Esq.

Mike Young has been practicing business and technology law since 1994 and is an angel investor in startups. He's been an entrepreneur since 1988. To get legal help from Attorney Young, click here now or call 214-546-4247 to schedule a phone consultation.

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