Specifically, the groups want the FTC to require advertisers to alert consumers when tracking cookies and other such files are present on sites, and then let consumers choose whether they are willing to be monitored. “Most consumers have no idea of the extensive system of online data collection and targeted marketing that has evolved,” says Chester. “They need to know that data is being collected about their viewing, that data is being sent back to a computer based on their tastes…there needs to be an opt in.” Some companies that specialize in behavioral advertising are already getting the message.
The complaint says Microsoft (MSFT) and TACODA, the largest behavioral targeting ad network, are among companies that use behavioral targeting without sufficiently alerting Web surfers. A Microsoft representative didn’t return a call seeking comment. TACODA says it plans to be more upfront about targeting practices.
- May 22, ’13 How the Decline of the Traditional Workplace Is Changing Our Cities
- May 22, ’13 Whey Too Much: Greek Yogurt’s Dark Side
- May 22, ’13 The Secret Donors Behind the Center for American Progress and Other Think Tanks
- May 21, ’13 In defense of digital freedom
- May 21, ’13 Surveillance and the Internet of things