Consumer, Privacy, and Civil Liberties Organizations Disappointed in FTC Staff Stance on Targeted Advertising

In a letter to Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chairman Simons, consumer, privacy, and civil liberties organizations, including CFA, expressed disappointment with comments that FTC staff submitted to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration stating that a policy approach in which consumers were opted out of online advertising by default would not be appropriate because “the likely result would include the loss of advertising-funded online content.” The groups complained that this position is based on a study by the advertising industry which fails to cite any empirical data for its contention that without targeted advertising, free online content will decrease, and suggested that such a narrow-minded economic balancing test ignores the fundamental right to privacy that should be the proper starting point for analysis.

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