Almost every time we go online, using our computers or mobile devices, each of us produces data in some form. This data may contain only oblique information about who we are and what we are doing, but when enough of it is aggregated, facts about us which we believed were private has the potential to become known to and used by others.
Many people are surprised to learn that data about their online habits, including the web sites and services they visit, are being collected and shared by marketers in order to target advertising. While such targeted advertising may provide more relevant information to consumers on which they can base their purchasing decisions, and while online advertising supports free online content for consumers, the lack of transparency about these practices has led to consumer apprehension and government concern.
As policy makers, regulators and consumer advocates press for significant reforms , there is an urgent need for companies using online technologies to demonstrate that they respect consumers’ right to privacy and their right to control the collection of information about them. Consumers need to feel confident that what is happening online is being done for them and not to them.
The Future of Privacy Forum is committed to advancing responsible data practices by online advertisers, publishers and networks. We believe that providing users with greater transparency and control is critical to ensuring privacy and personalization.
Major trade and Self-Regulatory Groups adopt icon: Trade Groups Announce the Selection of the Wording and Link/Icon that will be Used to Indicate Adherence to Industry Self-Regulatory Principles for Online Behavioral Advertising
New York times story on Industry adoption of FPF WPP icon: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/27/business/media/27adco.html?scp=1&sq=online%20privacy&st=cse
One of the biggest challenges in promoting data transparency is designing notices that engage and effectively inform users. Long, legalistic privacy policies buried in a web site do not do the job. The Future of Privacy Forum is currently engaged with the marketing communications firm WPP in a project to design new forms of notice that move beyond tedious legal jargon, towards actually helping users understand how their data is being used, at the right time – when they see ads that may use data collection technologies — and giving them a say about the matter.
Future of Privacy Forum “Icon” Survey: Online Behavioral Advertising & Privacy Final Results
Prepared by Mary J. Culnan, Bentley University
Future of Privacy Forum “Icon”Survey: Comprehension of Behavioral Advertising Disclosures
Prepared by Manoj Hastak, Ph.D., Kogod Scool of Business, American University
FTC Exploring Privacy Roundtable:
Discussion of FPF icons at the Consumer Expectations and Disclosures Panel at the FTC Jan 28, 2009 Exploring Privacy Roundtable (video)
Lorrie Faith Cranor, Carnegie Mellon University
Allen Davidson, Google
Joel Kelsey, Consumers Union
Jules Polonetsky, Future of Privacy Forum
Adam Thierer, Progress & Freedom Foundation
Joseph Turow, University of Pennslyvania
Adam Westin, Columbia University
Comments by the FTC Chairman:
Future of Privacy Forum Unveils New Privacy and Personalization Symbols Finalists:
Icons from Notices Project go Live:
Link to Relevant Research page on our Wiki:
Link to Gallery of Leading Practices:
Opting-In to Fixing the Opt-Out:
The Future of Privacy Forum is also engaged in a project that seeks to provide Internet users with a more effective way to “opt-out” of advertising that uses data to tailor its contents. The existing opt-out standard today—relying on the provision of a browser “cookie” that reminds data collectors not to track a particular web browser—is broken. Users may delete the tracking cookies, believing that doing so is part of proper data hygiene, but in reality they may be subjecting themselves to behavioral targeting once again without realizing it. We are seeking to ensure that users are provided easy to use controls that work to respect the choices users have made.
For more information or to join our efforts in the area of advancing responsible advertising data practices, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.