Ad groups to develop voluntary marketing privacy guidelines

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New York—Four marketing and advertising industry associations announced on Jan. 13 that they are working to develop enhanced self-regulatory principles for online behavioral advertising, in order to address consumer privacy concerns.

The American Association of Advertising Agencies, Association of National Advertisers, Direct Marketing Association and Interactive Advertising Bureau said they are discussing the areas for self-regulation set forth in the Federal Trade Commission’s proposed self-regulatory principles issued in December 2007, including education and transparency; consumer notification and choice; data security; and self-regulatory enforcement.

The announcement of the joint effort took place on the same day that two consumer advocacy groups, the Center for Digital Democracy and the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, asked the FTC to investigate behavioral targeting practices aimed at users of mobile phones and requested regulations to make it easier for mobile phone users to control how information about them is used.

The quick response by the marketing and ad industry associations is seen as a means to head off any federal regulations and convince regulators that marketers can responsibly use consumer data in their online marketing campaigns.

—Christopher Hosford

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