The Federal Trade Commission ("FTC") staff released for public comment proposed online behavioral advertising privacy principles in an effort to guide self-regulation of this nascent industry. The proposed Principles are stringent and extend far beyond the Network Advertising Initiative's Principles For Online Preference Marketing approved by the FTC in 2000. Moreover, they would apply to a very wide array of online activity.
This is the first time that the Federal Trade Commission has issued any type of guidance on the practice of behavioral advertising, which the FTC staff defines very broadly to apply to "the tracking of a consumer's activities online -- including the searches the consumer has conducted, web pages visited, and the content viewed -- in order to deliver advertising targeted to the individual consumer's interests." This guidance is therefore important for any company seeking to personalize online advertising to consumers or offering any sort of personalization of its website based on consumers' use of it.
Kelley Drye's Advertising Law Practice Group has prepared an advisory, which provides a detailed description of the proposed Principles.