During the conference, Maureen Ohlhausen, a Republican commissioner at the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, praised the DAA for pushing its targeted advertising guidelines. Ohlhausen said she's looking forward to the DAA's mobile guidelines.
The FTC will take action when it sees online advertisers and networks acting unfairly or using deceptive business practices, but many consumers don't appear to be concerned about targeted advertising and online tracking, Ohlhausen said. The DAA's opt-out options are a "great success story," she added.
Some privacy groups have called online tracking "creepy," said Dan Jaffe, executive vice president of government relations at the Association of National Advertisers.
"I don't think creepiness falls into the definition" of unfairness or deceptive business practices, Ohlhausen said.
Privacy groups and some U.S. lawmakers have criticized self-regulatory efforts for online privacy. In April, Senator John "Jay" Rockefeller, a West Virginia Democrat, blasted the online advertising industry for not meeting its promised deadline to implement a do-not-track program by the end of 2012.
"I personally have long expressed skepticism about the ability, or the willingness, of companies to regulate themselves on behalf of consumers when it effects their bottom line," Rockefeller said then. "I do not believe that companies with business models based upon the collection and monetization of personal information will voluntarily stop these practices if it negatively affects their profit margins."
(IDG, the parent company of the IDG News Service, is a member of the DAA.)
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