Internet privacy is a hot, hot-button issue, and lately, the Federal Trade Commission has been threatening to clamp down on the way companies are gathering and storing data on consumers' browsing habits. Last week, the FTC proposed implementation of a “Do Not Track” mechanism – likely a persistent setting on consumers’ browsers – so consumers can choose whether to allow the collection of data regarding their online searching and browsing activities.
In response to increased FTC attention to the issue -- and likely as a way to head off regulation -- a group of leading Web marketing companies announced a partnership intended to give consumers more control over data collected about them and managed by online marketing vendors.
Under the aegis of The Better Advertising Project, the initiative, called the Open Data Partnership, is intended to provide consumers with full transparency into data collected about their browsing habits "and enable them to edit their information or opt out completely from any participating company’s cookie."
The industry's "Self-Regulatory Program for Online Behavioral Advertising" program employs the use of the “Advertising Option Icon” and accompanying language, to be displayed where data is collected and used for behavioral advertising. The Advertising Option Icon indicates a company’s use of online behavioral advertising and adherence to the Self-Regulatory Principles for Online Behavioral Advertising, guiding the Program. In 2008, the industry published a set of principles intended to guide ethical behavior in the way consumer data is handled.
This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com