Get Set, Ready, Regulate!: Online Marketing and Data Collection in 2009-2010 [see how everyone “owns” your data except you!]
New Year, new Administration and Congress. Plus a growing global concern from policymakers, advocates and citizens about data collection online. Even the relatively feckless Federal Trade Commission will do more on the issue this year. Here’s a toast to hope for a honest discussion about the data collection and targeting system which embodies the online marketing apparatus. Look at this excerpt from a story on behavioral targeting and online publishing from this week’s Advertising Age. Note that everyone believes that can collect and use the data collected from observing an individuals’ behavior–and don’t even have to get permission from the actual person. Such online marketing practices, of course, raise important civil liberties issues, as far as I’m concerned.
Here’s the excerpt: “…Who created the customer and who owns the data generated by a visit or a sale? “Data is key; everybody wants to own it, everybody wants to use it. It’s not just ad networks — its portals, publishers and holding companies,” said Mike Cassidy, CEO of Undertone Networks. “The question to be answered is who owns the data, if anybody.” In the offline world, publishers market their own subscriber lists. But online that data is harvested by a host of third parties such as Google’s DoubleClick, Microsoft’s Atlas and vast ad networks such as Platform A’s Advertising.com. “People are stealing from the media companies who have lost control of their data,” said Operative CEO Mike Leo….Here’s how it works: A publisher decides to allow an ad network to sell some of its inventory. That network places a cookie on the publisher’s site. Now, when a user leaves that site, and goes somewhere else, the network can track that user.”
source: “As Tracking Proliferates, Web Publishers are Left Out: Behavioral Targeting Punishes Producers of Original Content.” Michael Learmouth. Advertising Age. January 5, 2009 [sub may be required].