Monday, October 01, 2007

Policy Rumblings on the Online Privacy Front

From KidAdLaw, news that the FTC will be holding a town hall style "open forum" on online targeted advertising. The two-day event will take place on Nov. 1-2, in Washington, D.C. and is open to the public. Sounds like a good opportunity to raise some of the issues with kids' sites, data-mining, advergaming, etc. Here are the details.
So-called "behavioral" advertising involves the collection of information concerning a consumer's activities online, including searches conducted, Web pages visited and content viewed, according to the agency. The goal of the meeting, the FTC said, is to bring together consumer advocates, industry representatives, technology experts and academics to address the consumer protection issues raised by such practices.

"Recently, several consumer privacy advocates, as well as the State of New York, sent letters to the FTC urging it to examine the effects of behavioral advertising on consumer advocacy," the agency stated. Topics at the Town Hall will include how behavioral advertising works, the types of data that is collected, whether such data is personally identifiable, and how such data is used.

Anyone can submit written comments on the topics to be addressed at the Town Hall, the agency noted.

Here are the KidAdLaw story link to the original FTC announcement, and some additional coverage from MediaPost, PCWorld and Broadcasting & Cable (all courtesy of KidAdLaw).

Coincidently, the 29th International Conferences of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners was held in Montreal last week, which examined a similar set of issues. Included on the agenda was a plenary session called "The Next Generation Dragon — Children’s Online Privacy", featuring Canadian kids' privacy/online culture experts Leslie Regan Shade, Jacquelyn Burkell and Valerie Steeves. Here's the Privacy Commissioner of Canada's blog post about their talk, which you can check again next week for video of the complete session.

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