Given how much advertising we all see, especially online, you know it means something when the entire advertising industry gets together to make an announcement. Today, the advertising industry, as represented by a cohort of trade associations, joined together to publish their own self-regulatory principles, with an aim toward increasing privacy protection for online behavioral advertising. It's encouraging to see the advertisers move into the privacy fray here (although not entirely surprising). For nearly a decade, the self-regulatory space has been dominated by the Network Advertising Initiative, which has historically included only third-party ad networks, which comprise just a small sliver of the industry. But when the FTC issued its own suggested self-regulatory principles earlier this year, the guidance from the agency wasn't limited to any particular advertising sector. The advertising associations appear to have gotten the message, and have tailored their principles in rough accordance with the FTC's recommendations. The advertiser principles incorporate many of the ideas that we and others have previously suggested to both the FTC and the NAI. The transparency principle includes a robust framework for providing notice outside of privacy policies, and lays the groundwork for development of a uniform link or icon that would appear on any web site or advertisement where data is collected or used for behavioral advertising.
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