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BizReport : Advertising archives : November 03, 2006

Online Advertisers To Be Investigated?

A consumer group wants the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate the practices of online advertisers. They say the $100-billion dollar online advertising industry is impeding on the privacy of Internet users.

by Kristina Knight

According to this article in USA Today, on Wednesday the Center for Digital Democracy is expected to file a complaint with the FTC. The group specifically wants an investigation into what it calls “deceptive practices”; they also want to urge Congress to pass legislation that will improve consumer privacy protection.

According to the complaint (via USA Today) "The FTC has largely ignored the critical developments of the electronic marketplace that has placed the privacy of every American at risk.” Privacy concerns have been rising for some time now as more and more money is shifting to the online and mobile arenas.

Next week the FTC will hold an e-commerce conference to discuss online advertising and privacy issues. The CDD says that conference is not enough to protect online consumers.

According to Jeff Chester, executive director of the CDD, gathering information about spending and other habits online endanger user’s privacy. The CDD singled out Microsoft’s adCenter service, saying it doesn’t do enough to keep information private.

Microsoft disputes that claim, saying they protect user privacy and that they are open about privacy policies.

Tags: online marketing, privacy

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