US Congress Urged to Implement Online Advertising Data Regulation
Then consumer and privacy groups urged the US congress to take steps to limit data tracking for consumer online behaviour last Tuesday. The coalition consisted of the Center for Digital Democracy, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Consumers Union, Consumer Federation of America, Consumer Watchdog, Privacy Lives, Privacy Times, U.S. Public Interest Research Group, The World Privacy Forum and Privacy Rights Clearinghouse.
In its 13-page legislative primer, they are pushing for the regulation of data tracking for behavioural advertising, in which web users are tracked, analysed and served ads based on the information gathered of their movements.
We want consumers to be able to take advantage of all of the new technologies without the technologies taking advantage of the consumers. Right now, that balance is not there,” Pam Dixon, executive director of the World Privacy Forum, said. “We like the digital world that we’ve moved into, but people shouldn’t have to have their rights abridged in order to take advantage of it.”
The group made several recommendations for consumer privacy legislation, including asking the Federal Trade Commission to expand the definition of “sensitive information”. This may mean limiting tracking for information such as health, finances, ethnicity, race, sexual orientation, personal relationships. Other recommendations include: a ban on behavioral data collection on children; a requirement that data collected for one purpose cannot be used for another without explicit consent; data security guarantees; and a consumer right to see, review, and correct stored data. In its proposal, the groups are trying to avoid website owners form discriminating against consumers based on the online behaviour.
The coalition expects Congress to draft the bill for fair information practices this fall.