Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Ad groups unite to stop online tracking

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- In a broad attempt by the online advertising industry to ward off federal privacy legislation, a coalition of industry groups today announced a wide-reaching program that allows internet users to opt out of being tracked for the purposes of online marketing. The program has also enlisted with the Better Business Bureau to police marketers that are not in compliance.

Users can click on the icon that is to appear in the upper-right corner of any ad unit for links to opt out of being tracked by that advertiser and its attendant third-party data and network partners.
While some major digital advertisers, such as AT&T, have already offered a program that allows people to opt-out of being tracked, the Federal Trade Commission had expressed concern that there is not a comprehensive, single mechanism for people to unsubscribe from the legion of marketers that track their movements online.

"I think there is an interest in giving consumers who don't want to be tracked to have a single, universal opt-out device," David Vladeck, head of FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection, said in a recent interview with Ad Age. Mr. Vladeck cited that the FTC's recent suggestion of a Do Not Track list, similar to a Do Not Call list that regulates telemarketers, is not technically feasible for the moment.

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