Federal Communications Commission (FCC)

No, school bus drivers were not playing Pink Floyd’s classic Another Brick in the Wall (We Don’t Need No Education) just in time for the first day of school. Yesterday, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released a Report to Congress evaluating the commercial proposals for distributing radio and television programs aboard school buses. The FCC

Reprinted with permission from Mobile Marketer at http://www.mobilemarketer.com.

Earlier last month the leading media, advertising and marketing trade associations, including the American Association of Advertising Agencies, Association of National Advertisers, Interactive Advertising Bureau, Direct Marketing Association and the Better Business Bureau, representing an overwhelming majority of industry participants, released their Self-Regulatory Principles for Online Behavioral Advertising (the “principles”), with the objective of protecting consumer privacy in ad-supported interactive media.

These generally follow the advisory principles that were released in February 2009 by the Federal Trade Commission. In fact, upon the FTC’s release, then-commissioner Jon Leibowitz remarked that anything industry can do to adopt, promulgate and enforce the principles represents “the last clear chance to show that self-regulation can – and will – effectively protect consumers’ privacy in a dynamic online marketplace.”

The principles were aimed at the following categories: education, transparency, consumer control, data security, material changes, sensitive data and accountability. Each principle is well thought out and tailored to specific areas within the universe of online behavioral advertising.

These principles can be summarized, in part, as follows:

  1. Educate consumers and businesses about online behavior advertising.
  2. Disclose and inform consumers about data collection and use practices, including various forms of notice that may be required depending on the nature of the data collected and the party collecting it.
  3. Give consumers options regarding the collection, use and sharing of information to non-affiliates.
  4. Require service providers and carrier networks – for example, non-first or third parties – to obtain consent before a user’s data may be used for behavioral advertising.

    Thereafter, the data may only be obtained for as long as necessary to fulfill a legitimate business need, or as required by law.

  5. Special treatment afforded to sensitive information, such as medical and financial information, as well as information from users under the age of 13.

    Moreover, service providers engaged in online behavioral advertising should undertake steps to help preserve the de-identified status of data collected and used if and when that data is shared with non-affiliates.

  6. Entities should maintain appropriate physical, electronic and administrative safeguards to protect the data collected and used for online behavioral advertising purposes.
  7. A user’s consent must be obtained before either a Web site or some other third party uses the previously collected data for materially different behavioral advertising purposes. Typically, a material change would be a more expansive collection or use of data than previously disclosed to the user.
  8. Establish accountability processes that should consist of monitoring programs, complaint procedures, reporting and compliance requirements, enforcement and public disclosures of offenders.

Does any of this sound familiar?

As early as 2007, many leading agencies, aggregators and publishers throughout the mobile marketing industry have stood behind most of these same principles and incorporated them into various codes of conduct and best practices.Continue Reading Are self-regulatory ad guidelines sufficient to satisfy federal regulators?

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“With the growing convergence of TV and the Internet, we need