By Euginia Viti
As online advertising continues to grow, regulation of privacy is becoming an increasingly important issue. As of December 2010, an estimated 24 billion dollars is being spent on tracking technology by advertisers and marketers.
The advertising industry has been working with the FTC and the Commerce Department to create more choices for consumers about how their information is used. The industry has formed the “Digital Advertising Alliance” which is backed by over 5,000 corporations. The FTC has stated that the current regulations must improve or legislation will be passed.
The US government is proposing a “Do Not Track” program that allows consumers to opt-out of being followed by advertisers. This could mean that advertisers may lose information used to gain insight about their target market. The US government has proposed the “Do Not Track” plan because it is unhappy with the current attempt for self-regulation within the industry regarding privacy issues.
The Department of Commerce has recently declared that they have intentions to enforce new guidelines before the end of the year.
As the Internet is increasingly used for e-commerce and marketing purposes, privacy issues have reached a peak in the mind of the consumer. We are moving in the direction of government regulation and it’s important for consumers to stay informed and active, helping shape laws to tame the Wild West we call the Internet.