Complaint Filed with the FTC Regarding “advertisers’ use of digital data”

22 April 2010 Internet, IT & e-Discovery Blog Blog
Authors: Peter Vogel

A report that a number of privacy groups filed a complaint with the FTC to investigate includes this quote “Internet ad exchanges... are basically markets for eyeballs on the Web. Advertisers bid against each other in real-time for the ability to direct a message at a single Web surfer. The trades take 50 milliseconds to complete.” The April 8, 2010 complaint was filed by the Center for Digital Democracy, US PIRG, and the World Privacy Forum against Google, Yahoo, PubMatic, TARGUSinfo, MediaMath, eXelate, Rubicon Project, AppNexus, Rocket Fuel, and others. Among other allegations in the complaint is a “massive and stealth data collection apparatus.” How much privacy to we really have?

Privacy in Social Media

Seems like an interesting overlap with my recent blog about the fact that the FTC is already dealing with EPIC’s complaint that Google’s new Buzz significantly breached “consumers’ expectations of privacy” at the same time that Google acquired Social Media Optimization company Aardvark. Since it is the job of the FTC to protect consumer privacy it will be interesting to see how both of these disputes evolve.

Hearst Said to Be in Talks for Web-Marketing Agency iCrossing

More interesting news is that Hearst might take over iCrossingiCrossing is one of the leading Search Engine Optimization (SEO) companies with a who’s who customer list including: Adobe, Bank of America, BMW, Epson, Fairmont Hotels, Mary Kay, MasterCard, Office Depot, and Toyota. Hearst is:

“one of the nation’s largest diversified media companies. Its major interests include magazine, newspaper and business publishing, cable networks, television and radio broadcasting, internet businesses, TV production and distribution, newspaper features distribution and real estate.”

So the addition of SEO power for Hearst will make an interesting future for everyone. Not to mention the impact on Social Media Optimization that Google and others possess we can expect the FTC investigations to prove very interesting.

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