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Opt Out Cookies: Behavioral Targeted Advertising and Protecting Your Privacy

behavioral-targeted-advertisingDespite claims, opt-out cookies will not substantively protect you from behavioral targeted advertising because tracking your website viewing habits is simply to profitable for Internet advertisers. And new Internet laws to strengthen opt-out processes won’t be effective for that reason either.

When you opt out of behavioral targeted advertisements, what exactly does that really mean? How many advertising networks does the opt out affect? How long will opt-out cookie last before it expires or is destroyed? And if you opted out on your desktop computer, how is that to stop tracking you the next time you’re online using your laptop?

Although the Network Advertising Initiative (NAI) provides a way for you to opt out of behavioral targeted ads by its members, that’s just not going to be enough to protect your private information while surfing the Web.

If the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) follows through with true consumer privacy protection, look for opt out cookies to be replaced with a process that requires clear disclosures and informed consent with voluntary opt-ins before behavioral targeting can occur. This will hurt the effectiveness of targeted advertising and impose costs for “buying” the right to track individual Internet browsing habits.  On the other hand if the FTC does nothing, opt-out cookies will be used by advertising networks to pretend to protect privacy.

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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