This is the summary of an article by Patricia E.M. Covington and Meghan Musselman. You can get the pdf of the behavioral targeting article here: 2010 Privacy and Data Security Developments.
The decade ending 2010 is great for new laws and regulations made for protecting online consumers in terms of secure data and privacy. It started with the GLB act of November 1999 for detailing sharing and collection o fpersonal information among financial institutions. Regulators such as the Federal Trade Comission or FTC also created new laws to punish companies that were unable to protect the information of their consumers. Online activities, data security and privacy seem to be top priority for FTC in the coming years.
Importance of Online Marketing
Wireless internet, social networks, and smart mobile devices have radically changed how consumers spend their time on the Internet. Online shopping has also become more prevalent and there are significant increases in loan production, which is primarily due to improvements in mobile technology, and businesses don’t want to be technologically left behind.
In fact, businesses engage in tracking the online behaviors of consumers to produce targeted ads. FTC and the Congress have prioritized behavioral advertising because this has caused some privacy concerns among consumers who didn’t want to be tracked. From 2009-2010, FTC held Privacy Rountables in search of better technologies for collection user information. Jon Leibowitz, FTC Chairman, stated that consumers are no longer aware that their information is being used because the user agreements are too complex for them to bother reading. FTC hopes that self-regulation will make forward progress and will not be regulating behavioral advertising in the meantime.
Data Pass is a recent issue. As a consumer checks out during an online purchase, he is offered a discount or any offer that gets him to pay recurring fees. A consumer usually doesn’t recognize that this offer comes from a third party who already has his credit card info. In response to this anomaly, Visa has initiated by not allowing third parties to get credit card information. Another response comes from Senator John Rockefeller who legislated a data pass regulation, called the Restore Online Shoppers’ Confidence Act.
During 2010, the FTC has continued its campaign to prohibit practices that are unfair to data security. For example, a Twitter settlement was made which was the first action by FTC towards a social networking site. FTC pointed out incidents during 2009 where users have gained access to private Twitter accounts and have made unauthorized tweets. Twitter was unable to protect the information and the system which contains it. As a result, Twitter was asked to maintain “a comprehensive information security program”.