Fri Feb, 2012 by Derek Mehraban
Thursday morning President Obama introduced a Consumer Bill of Rights. Google, Yahoo!, AOL and Microsoft are all stating they will voluntarily comply with the bill. Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome already have ‘do not track’ options even though they are rarely used. That is the main component of the Bill of Rights. For now all the proposal does I create a framework for discussion among public policy makers and major internet companies to develop a FTC enforceable code.
The code could be a hurdle for AdWords and other mobile advertising servers. FaceBook’s like button would not breach the code because of its voluntary nature, but FaceBook’s frictionless sharing could be a violator. This development might also cause problems for FaceBook’s plans to launch a mobile advertising network.
Because of recent scandals, Cookiegate and Pathgate as the latest, privacy has returned as a central concern for internet users. Because of election issues it seems a safe bet that nothing with teeth pass anytime soon, but the digital marketing agency needs to begin preparing for the post-election cycle. Newly elected legislators will be eager to take action, and online privacy s an easy place to make laws that anger almost nobody. Regardless what happens it seems likely that any new rules will require the user to opt out, which is not at all unlike the status quo. Caution needs to be taken though incase something more draconian does come along. It also seems likely that a voluntary compliance by the industry would neuter the need for legislation.