Kids Spending and Influencing Power: $1.2 Trillion says leading ad firm

For decades, children have been big business--the source for buying toys, games, clothes and now lots of high-tech goodies.  Marketers have tried to treat kids as young adults--unleashing an array of ad campaigns designed to get them to buy or "pester" their parents.  Media companies and marketers, for the most part, have opposed regulatory safeguards that would protect young people from such unfettered advertising (kids TV is a great example).  It comes as no surprise to anyone that one reason media and marketing companies want unfettered access to influence kids,

McDonald's Changes Controversial "Refer-A-Friend" Policy that led to our COPPA complaint

Last August,  a coalition of child health, consumer and privacy groups asked the FTC to investigate the use of so-called "Refer-A-Friend" viral branded marketing tactics designed to encourage kids to provided the email addresses of their friends--a violation we believe of the children's online privacy law--COPPA.  The idea that leading companies would work to bypass--and undermine--parental role is disturbing.  Among the companies engaging in those practices explained the complaint included McDonald's, General Mills, Subway, Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network.&

EU Privacy Regulators Zero-in on Google

When Google changed its privacy policy last year--integrating more than 60 separate policies into one giant `we can collect everything' statement--EU officals and many US privacy advocates argued that the company was actually weakening what little protections  users had when dealing with the online ad giant.  CDD asked the FTC to investigate Google's approach as "unfair and deceptive," since it was offered as a privacy enhancing approach--but its real goal, of course, was to enable Google to assemb

Invasion of the Data Snatchers: Will the US Online Ad Industry Embrace Do-Not-Track or Kill it Off?

When does a really big rationalization of a really big lie become reality?  That's one of the questions the public should be asking the US online ad and data collection lobby.  Over the last few weeks, in either a odd expression of denial or demonstrating incredible digital "chutzpah," the Digital Ad Alliance (basically representing every big company online and off) has claimed that:

ACT--Mobile App Group--Run by Big Data Companies/Against Kids Online Privacy

Among the most vocal opponents of protecting children's privacy online in the mobile/location data tracking and targeting era is ACT (Association for Competitive Technology), which claims it is a "international grassroots advocacy and education organization representing more than 5,000 small and mid-size app developers and information technology firms."   But who is really behind the`we represent the small gals/guys' facade?

DIgital Ad Alliance strong-arm tactics Against Do Not Track, Microsoft, and Privacy Online

Statement of Jeff Chester, CDD Exec Director, in response to the DAA announcement today saying its members will not honor Do Not Track requests from consumers using Microsoft and other browsers designed with privacy by design safeguards:

US Ad Lobby Tries to Hijack Do Not Track


Protect Kids Privacy Online: Sign the Petition

With kids privacy at stake, including on mobile devices, and the online ad lobby up in digital arms because the FTC is proposing a parent be in better control of data collected from children 12 and under, we need you to speak out.  Special interest digital advertising industry lobbyists, joined by databrokers, and kids content and toy companies are teaming up to pressure the Federal Trade Commision so it won't support safeguards.  The petition is

Facebook to America: We want to target your kids with ads, collect their data, violate their privacy [Annals of COPPA/FTC]

The same comedy writers at Facebook who wrote about the glories to be from its IPO--now a colossal joke--were just put to work again in the social ad network's new FTC comments on children's privacy (COPPA).  Like the hype used to blur the real financial prospects of Facebook, its arguments against strengthening rules to better protect children 12 and under from intrusive and manipulative digital data collection practices are based on a lack of candor.  Undoubtedly, Mark Zuckerberg and company will be peddling the Brooklyn Bridge for sale soon.

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