Mobile // Mobile Applications
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11/2/2007
01:48 PM
Thomas Claburn
Thomas Claburn
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Ad Blocking. You Know...For Kids.

With the commencement on Thursday of a Federal Trade Commission Town Hall meeting, "Ehavioral Advertising: Tracking, Targeting, and Technology," The Center for Digital Democracy (CDD) and the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (US PIRG), two public interest advocacy groups, again asked the FTC to investigate and regulate online marketing. The two groups filed a 74-page supplemental statement that expands u

With the commencement on Thursday of a Federal Trade Commission Town Hall meeting, "Ehavioral Advertising: Tracking, Targeting, and Technology," The Center for Digital Democracy (CDD) and the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (US PIRG), two public interest advocacy groups, again asked the FTC to investigate and regulate online marketing.

The two groups filed a 74-page supplemental statement that expands upon a complaint filed last year with the FTC about online marketing. Among their more eyebrow-raising claims: Behavioral ad targeting contributes to childhood obesity and it helped bring on the subprime mortgage crisis.This comes as a coalition of privacy groups are calling for a "Do Not Track List," similar in concept to the FTC's "Do Not Call List," to help consumers opt-out of behavioral ad targeting.

Well, I've got some good news for all the consumer advocacy groups pressing for more regulation. You can pack up and go home. Your job is done.

AdBlock Plus and Customize Google, two Firefox extensions, will put you on the "Do Not Show Me Ads List," which is even better to be on than the "Do Not Track" list.

And if you're really into not being tracked, you can set your browser not to accept cookies (or delete them) and use a proxy to surf the Net.

This is not to say that there isn't some substance to groups opposed to marketing excesses. Privacy issues should be a lot clearer to consumers and closer scrutiny of behavioral targeting is a good idea, within reason.

Of course, when consumers can't be bothered to think about such things, it's hard to blame marketers for pushing the envelope.

For those who do think about such things, the technical solutions already work a lot better than proposed policy solutions.

Ad blocking. Do it to keep our kids thin.

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