If you have some free time today, the FTC just released a new 112 page report on marketing and consumer privacy that you might find interesting.
The report title is almost as long as the report. It’s called “Protecting Consumer Privacy in an Era of Rapid Change: A Proposed Framework for Businesses and Policymakers.” Note the word “proposed.” This report doesn’t establish any new laws, but they are rather firm in their “suggestions.”
Think of it as a parent who “suggests” that a teen be home at a reasonable hour. They might look the other way if the teen come in after midnight once or twice, but if it becomes a habit . . .
Here’s FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz in the parent role;
Funnily enough, this was the question that came up at a workshop on social technology strategy, which I ran to coincide with the publication of“Social Business Strategy.” To put it into context, we were discussing the development of social media policy guidelines and how secure Facebook is as a social network. One of the participants was suggesting that Facebook can be secure because you can restrict the content to be visible to just your friends. At this point another participant jumps in with this wonderful one-line response:
“Yeah, but you are only as secure as your dumbest friend!”
The good news about the Federal Trade Commission’s recent proposal for a Do-Not-Track mechanism is that it could give Web users much needed control over their online data. The bad news: That same proposal threatens to disrupt the delicate value-exchange that’s still emerging between Internet users and content publishers.
In December, when the FTC unveiled its do-not-track proposal as part of a comprehensive privacy report, it asked for public comments on the document.
This morning, ClickZ submitted feedback on behalf of its readers. The document we sent the FTC summarizes the observations of 17 readers, contributors, and experts regarding the feasibility and potential impact of such a mechanism. It was supplemented with our own extensive reporting on online ad tracking, and the industry’s self-regulation efforts.
Interested readers can download our feedback to the FTC in .pdf form at this link. Among the key points: