The President's Message

9/29/2011

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Privacy and security issues continue to be a focus of both the federal government and the media, and I’d like to take this opportunity to update our National Partners on several matters.

CBBB, through the National Advertising Review Council, has been a leader in promoting a self-regulatory solution to the privacy concerns surrounding targeted advertising. The new Online Interest-Based Accountability Program works with companies to assure they are in compliance with self-regulatory principles, established by the industry, for online behavioral advertising (OBA). The principles cover all companies involved in the collection and use of consumer data for online behavioral advertising, including web publishers, ad networks and advertisers.

The new program is effective and well-run, and we expect it will go a long way toward allaying the concerns of regulators and legislators about behavioral advertising practices. In fact, in her recent keynote speech before at the Industry Association for Privacy Professionals, Federal Trade Commissioner Julie Brill acknowledged the benefits of targeted ads and applauded the progress of the industry’s self-regulatory efforts to addressing FTC concerns.

At that same meeting, Genie Barton, CBBB VP and Director of the Online Interest-Based Advertising Accountability Program and Mobile Marketing Initiative, led a workshop on the nuts and bolts of the new program, covering the notice and choice provisions of the industry’s OBA principles. Enforcement is underway.

For more information about the Accountability Program and what your company may need to do, please contact Genie Barton at gbarton@council.bbb.org.

Learn more about the program here.

On the privacy front, the FTC also has issued proposed revisions to regulations implementing the federal Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). See the BBB Call to Action (below) for additional information.

Steve Cox
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