demedia's blog

Online Data Trackers say they know your "soul" from tracking you, with "MRI" like precision

We are approaching a political tipping point where the global public will demand new regulatory safeguards and responsible data practices from industry leaders.  The mergering of Big Data techniques with Big Digital Ad Targeting of individuals online, inc.

Online Industry Giants Fearful of Do-Not-Track/Will Online Users Have Some form of Protection Against Tracking?

Last week, I spent several days working with privacy and consumer NGOs, along with Mozilla and privacy tech maven Jonathan Mayer advancing the interests of consumer/citizen privacy in the digital era.  The forum was the Worldwide Web Consortium's Tracking Protection Working Group in-person meeting in Washington, DC.  As my colleagues at EFF and

CDD Cited for Prodding FTC to Investigate Digital Marketing of Alcoholic Beverages

At the forefront of how digital marketing impacts public health, we are pleased CDD's recent report has played a useful role at the FTC.  Here's an excerpt from AdWeek

Google Expands User Tracking in China via DoubleClick Ad Exchange/Raises issues on Human Rights & Digital Marketing

My CDD has long been concerned about the human rights and privacy consequences of US companies exporting digital tracking technologies to undemocratic regimes.  Ad Exchanges are the latest example of dehumanizing online marketing services that track users 24/7 and sell the right to target them online in real-time.  Google operates one of the largest of these exchanges through its DoubleClick subsidiary.  Last week, Google launched its Ad Exchange in China, which will have consequences for both its citizens and consumers.  Privacy and human rights advocates and regul

US Online Ad Biz Flawed Privacy Plan Exported to EU/US Role Promoting Data Collection Should Be Criticized

The online ad industry developed its data-collection business model without ever considering the privacy consequences.  Advocates and regulators have forced the industry to begin to address the privacy and some of the digital consumer protection issues.  But the commitment to privacy from the industry is tepid, at best.  Afterall, the harvesting and analysis of massive amounts of information from and about us is the digital golden goose enriching Google, Facebook, WPP and others.  In order to fight regulation, the US online ad lobby dreamed up their "icon"

Massive Scale "30 billion audience data" archive linked to real-time targeting of consumers

Both the EU and FTC will have to address real-time buying and selling of users and their data.  We have helped place this issue on the policy radar screen both in Brussels and DC.  But we are stepping up our efforts, and intend to make sure real-time sales of users becomes a key privacy issue.  AppNexus, a leading real-time provider and data company Brilig just made this announcement, which is emblematic of the problems.  Excerpt:

Microsoft's new Behavioral Targeting Product: "Intent BT" and social media and user profile auctions

excerpt from Microsoft Advertising and Solution Overview (our emphasis).

Online Ad Lobby to Consumers: You Can't See or Control Your Information!

Who owns and controls your information?  You the individual---or the data brokers that now can collect everything you do online and off.  The public got its answer yesterday.  The lobbying group representing Google, Facebook, Yahoo and the unaccountable digital data mining industry say they get to decide whether a consumer can access and control their own information.  These folks have a future working with Mr. Putin at the Kremlin!

Online Biz Lobby Expands in DC, inc. Google, Facebook, Yahoo. Privacy on its radar screen

One sign of the success of my CDD and our privacy, consumer protection and civil liberties allies is the dramatic growth of lobbyists working for the online marketing industry in DC (and around world).  Google, Facebook, Yahoo and others are fearful that the Congress and FTC will weigh in and protect the public.  That's why the digital giants have opened up their sizeable wallets to help them buy the influence and professional assistance they require.  Politico has a very good article on these latest developments.  Which I excerpt below because it should be on

Google's Expansion of Admeld and Display ads products another illustration of why its privacy plan changed

The folks at Google need to do some soul-searching--and fast.  With the EU and others gathering evidence on the failure of Google to candidly inform users of the real reasons for its new privacy policy, the company really risks suffering from serious reputational harm.  There's no reason why Google can't admit to its users that the name of the game on online data

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