MediaPost reports on comments by the Federal Trade Commission consumer protection chief David Vladeck concerning online advertising and federal enforcement of privacy regulations:
“The FTC will step in when false or misleading privacy claims have the effect of undermining consumer choices,” Vladeck said at an industry conference about ad networks and exchanges. He added that the commission recently reached settlement agreements with Twitter, Google and the ad network Chitika for allegedly “making deceptive claims about the privacy of the in information they collect.”
In Chitika’s case, the ad network offered users the opportunity to opt out of online behavioral targeting, but the opt-out cookie lasted for only 10 days. […]
Vladeck also discussed the FTC’s proposal for a universal do-not-track mechanism. Do-not-track, Vladeck said, need not require new legislation if the industry can include five components. Four of them are relatively straightforward: The mechanism must be easy for consumers to use, effective, universal and persistent.
The fifth component, however, has proven to be more complex: A do-not-track mechanism must allow users to avoid the collection of their data, not just its use.
This requirement, Vladeck said, stems from the concern that data that’s initially collected for advertising purposes might end up being used for other, secondary purposes that consumers don’t want. […]
Vladeck also told OMD that the FTC has “real concerns” that information collected ito send users targeted ads is being used for other purposes. “We see leakage of data that looks like it was collected from behavioral advertising,” Vladeck said. Even when consumers consent to the use of their data for targeted advertising, failing to disclose that the data could be used for other purposes could constitute a “deceptive omission,” he added.