Privacy groups: We’ve had enough!


Go to a website about gadgets and you’ll likely find ads selling cameras, cellphones, laptops, and a slew of other gadgets. This is called behavioral advertising – a marketing strategy that gathers data from online activities of consumers to determine what their interests are then show ads that cater to these interests.

As of present, Internet companies are practicing self-regulation regarding this type of advertising because there are less rules to follow and it is much cheaper than complying to government requirements.

Privacy and consumer groups however, do not want this anymore and want Congress to take action and are urging them to draft a new legislation regarding consumer privacy.

The privacy and consumer groups include: Center for Digital Democracy, Consumer Federation of America, Consumers Union, Consumer Watchdog, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Privacy Lives, Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, Privacy Times, U.S. Public Interest Research Group, and The World Privacy Forum. The ten groups drafted 13 pages of proposed changes, InfoWeek reports.

Although Google is very much known for their ads, it is not the company that the groups are worried about. InfoWeek reports that companies with “controversial practices” like NebuAd and Phorm are the ones that concern the groups.

The representatives of the group however stressed out that they do not want to “kill” behavioral advertising. They just want to safeguard the consumers.

“The basic idea behind all of these documents is we want consumers to be able to take advantage of all of these technologies without these technologies taking advantage of the consumers,” Pam Dixon, executive director of the World Privacy Forum, said. “And right now that balance is not there.”