Mobile customers are increasingly being tracked and profiled by behavioural advertisers to enhance delivery of personalized advertising. The paper, "Profiling the mobile customer – Is industry self-regulation adequate to protect consumer privacy posits that this type of profiling relies on automated processes that mine databases containing personally-identifying or anonymous consumer data, and it raises a host of significant concerns about privacy and data protection. (You must pay a fee to access this paper.)
"Economic Impact of Privacy on Online Behavioral Advertising," an independent study conducted by the Ponemon Institute, suggests that online advertising budgets would be as much as four times higher if not for the fear of alienating customers who have privacy concerns.
According to its critics, industry self-regulation of customer's privacy preferences is a failure, suffering from an overall lack of transparency, weak or incomplete realization of the Fair Information Practice Principles (FIPPs), inadequate incentives to ensure wide-scale industry participation and ineffective compliance and enforcement mechanisms. This paper by Ira Rubinstein of New York University's Information Law Institute explores some co-regulatory approaches in which government plays a role in setting requirements for industry guidelines and imposing sanctions for non-compliance.
The Federal Trade Commission ("FTC") has sanctioned many companies for privacy violations involving the improper installation of spyware software on personal computers. However, the practice of online-targeted advertising raises similar privacy issues as the use of spyware software because it also involves behind-the-scenes tracking, which most consumers never notice. In "Targeting Bad Behavior: Why Federal Regulators Must Treat Online Behavioral Marketing as Spyware," Heather Osborn Ng examines why the similarities highlight the need for legislative action and…
The Internet has changed the way we work, socialize and shop—we can now do all those things without ever leaving home. But that doesn’t mean the Internet is always safe, or that it’s always free. This fact sheet explains your options for Internet and email service. It also explains some risks of using the Internet and provides tips for protecting yourself, your family, and your personal information and computer data.
The Wireless Education Project — or WirelessED — was created by Consumer Action, a national consumer education and advocacy 501(c)3 organization, and sponsored by AT&T.
We developed the Wireless Education Project to help consumers learn about mobile voice and data services and manage their use of such services in a cost-effective way.
Consumer Action's Privacy Information Project focuses on personal privacy and why it is important to be careful about who has access to your personal information.
Paying a bill, depositing a check or conducting any other financial transaction used to require a trip to the bank or post office. Now technology makes it possible to bank and pay bills without leaving your home or office.
The Federal Trade Commission issued a preliminary staff report that proposes a framework to balance the privacy interests of consumers with innovation that relies on consumer information to develop beneficial new products and services. It suggests that implementation of a “Do Not Track” mechanism (most likely a persistent setting on consumers’ browsers) would give consumers a choice whether to allow the collection of data regarding their online searching and browsing activities.
Do Not Track is a technology and policy proposal that enables users to opt out of tracking by websites they do not visit, including analytics services, advertising networks, and social platforms. At present few of these third parties offer a reliable tracking opt out, and tools for blocking them are neither user-friendly nor comprehensive.