An elaborate system is in place designed to influence our behavior by taking advantage of our use of digital media. Social media sites collect your habits, delivering you and your network of friends and relationships to advertisers and marketers. You are a product, sold to corporations: food, credit, entertainment, alcohol, apparel, and even political campaigns. CDD closely tracks this industry, bring their activities to the attention of the public, the media, and policymakers.


  • Can Mondelez, Facebook Sell More Cookies Online?

    By: Staff | Jun 26 2015

    Mondelez International has struck a new deal with Facebook that the Oreo maker says will help it crack the code for selling more cookies online.

    The pact renews a one-year global strategic partnership announced in March of 2014 that covered 52 countries and gave the snacks and candy marketer access to Facebook's beta testing programs. The new arrangement also covers 52 countries and will "focus on creating and delivering creative video content and driving impulse snack purchasing online," according to a statement issued on Tuesday.

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  • Facebook has been looking at an alternative to the 'Like' button

    By: Staff | Jun 24 2015

    Facebook has given us a bit more of an insight into some of the more experimental new products and apps its product team has been working on.

    Speaking at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, Facebook's chief product officer Chris Cox, showed off what could one day work as a more expressive version of the Like button.

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  • Twitter Pushes Ecommerce Efforts

    By: Staff | Jun 22 2015

    Delving deeper into ecommerce, Twitter is testing some new ways to help users discover products within its network.

    Twitter | Media Post

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  • The First 5 Seconds: Creating YouTube Ads That Break Through in a Skippable World

    By: Staff | Jun 18 2015

    Five, four, three, two, one. What keeps people watching after the first five seconds? What can science tell us about the art of video advertising? We took a peek behind the data curtain to see which creative choices capture audiences' attention.

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  • 2015 EFFIE Award Preview: Project Architeuthis

    By: Jeff Chester | Jun 16 2015

    Category: Media Idea

    Client: America’s Navy

    Agency: Lowe Campbell Ewald

    Title: Project Architeuthis: Engaging America's Cyber Warriors

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  • Privacy and Consumer Advocates Leave Administration’s “Multistakeholder” Negotiations on Facial Recognition

    By: Jeff Chester | Jun 16 2015

    Today, the groups participating in the Obama Administration’s so-called multi-stakeholder negotiations to develop a self-regulatory “code of conduct” on facial recognition and privacy sent a letter (attached) to the Commerce Department explaining why they would no longer participate in the process. As CDD has said from the start, the approach the Administration embraced to protect consumers’ rights to their personal information was flawed.

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  • Statement by the Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation on Publication of the Report of the Investigatory Powers of Review

    By: Staff | Jun 15 2015


    11 JUNE 2015

    Today the Prime Minister published the Report of the Investigatory Powers Review, entitled ‘A Question of Trust’.  It was submitted to him by David Anderson Q.C. Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation.


    David Anderson said:

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  • Opening up the “Black Box” of Digital Marketing and the Role of Programmatic Advertising

    By: Jeff Chester | Jun 12 2015

    There is a growing and much needed debate on the role that algorithms and machine-driven decision making play in our lives.

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  • AppNexus invites Brands to 'Bring their Own Algorithm' for New Bidder Product

    By: Staff | Jun 12 2015

    AppNexus has launched a new programme which it claims allows advertisers to say “goodbye to the black box” and use their data more effectively.

    The ad tech company has today announced the launch of AppNexus Programmable Bidder (APB), enabling buyers to “bring their own algorithms” and plug them directly into the firm’s infrastructure.

    Available to only a handful of clients, the product will eventually be opened up to all clients with their own data sets. Advertisers will set the parameters for the campaign, while AppNexus will manage bidding, reporting and engineering.

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  • Micro-Moments – Think with Google

    By: Staff | Jun 10 2015

    Mobile has forever changed the way we live, and it’s forever changed what we expect of brands. It’s fractured the consumer journey into hundreds of real-time, intent-driven micro-moments. Each one is a critical opportunity for brands to shape our decisions and preferences.

    Full article available at

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  • Nielsen Completes Acquisition of Innerscope Research, Launching New Era in Consumer Neuroscience

    By: Staff | Jun 8 2015

    Nielsen today announced that it has completed its acquisition of Innerscope Research and has renamed its combined offering as Nielsen Consumer Neuroscience. The combined entity is thought to be the largest consumer neuroscience organization in the world.

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  • Remarks by Deputy U.S. Trade Representative, Ambassador Robert W. Holleyman II: Digital Economy and Trade: A 21st Century Leadership Imperative

    By: Staff | Jun 5 2015

    Washington, DC – Friday, May 1 – Thank you, Representative Kind, for that warm introduction, and for your leadership of the New Democrat Coalition.  The Coalition’s American Prosperity Agenda recognizes the role that smart economic policy can play in sharpening the competitive edge that makes America home to the world’s finest innovators.  Your commitment to advancing polices to ensure that the Internet remains open, free, and a platform for global innovation is something that we at USTR share.  It is also a key impetus for many of the digital economy initiatives I will describe today.

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  • Nielsen Launches Digital Ad Ratings in China

    By: Staff | Jun 3 2015

    Beijing – May 28, 2015 – Nielsen (NYSE: NLSN) today announced the launch of Digital Ad Ratings in China in collaboration with Tencent, further expanding the solution’s global footprint. Currently available in eight other markets (Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, U.K. and U.S.), Digital Ad Ratings has become the industry standard for digital campaign measurement globally.

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  • Digital Marketing Budgets in the Banking Industry Set to Explode

    By: Staff | Jun 1 2015

    Financial marketers will be spending more and more on paid digital advertising in the next five years. This exclusive report looks at the digital advertising trends that will be reshaping the banking the industry in 2015 and beyond.

    Ad spending on digital media by US financial institutions industry will top $7 billion in 2015, a 14.5% gain over 2014, according to a report from eMarketer.

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  • CDD asks Court to Require FTC Make Public Information on “Safe Harbor” Programs for COPPA (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act)

    By: Staff | May 26 2015

    The Center for Digital Democracy (CDD), in its ongoing efforts to monitor the Federal Trade Commission’s enforcement of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), has filed a motion in the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia challenging the FTC’s refusal to release important COPPA documentation. The case involves seven “safe harbor” programs, such as KidSAFE and TRUSTe, approved by the FTC to handle website compliance with COPPA regulations.

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  • Advocates Charge Google with Deceiving Parents about Content on YouTube Kids

    By: Jeff Chester | May 19 2015

    Washington, DC – Tuesday, May 19 – Two leading child and consumer advocacy groups have filed an important update to their Federal Trade Commission complaint against Google’s YouTube Kids app for false and deceptive marketing.

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  • Private For-Profit Colleges and Online Lead Generation

    By: Alyce Myatt | May 7 2015



    Private Universities Use Digital Marketing to Target Prospects, Including Veterans, via the Internet

    This report summarizes how companies that specialize in recruiting students to enroll at for-profit colleges use online lead generation (or “lead gen”) and other targeting tools. Websites that look like news sites or even colleges themselves are actually (often deceptively) collecting information about you to sell your profile (a “lead”) to the highest-bidding for-profit school. Many lead generators specialize in targeting veterans, because the schools will pay a higher fee to obtain access not only to federal student loan funds but also to federal veterans’ benefits, as we explain below.

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  • Targeting Hispanics for Leads in the Digital Big Data Era (May 2015)

    By: Alyce Myatt | May 7 2015


    Data-driven tools enable marketers and financial firms to specifically target any group, from students and veterans to ethnic groups. This report examines digital targeting and marketing to Hispanics, especially younger Hispanics, due to their growing economic clout and early adoption of mobile smart phones, which enables precision targeting based on behavior, geo-location and language.

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  • Online Lead Generation: What You Need to Know to Protect Yourself from Companies in the Business of Secretly Selling You to Predatory Payday and Other Short-term Loan Companies

    By: Alyce Myatt | May 7 2015


    This report summarizes how the online lead generation (or “lead gen”) business works. Companies that look as if they are offering you a loan are actually (often deceptively) collecting information about you to sell your profile (a “lead”) to the highest-bidding loan company (and often to fraudulent firms, too). At the end of the report, we offer consumer tips on what you can do to protect yourself.

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  • Protecting Consumers from Data-driven and Cross-device “Native” Advertising

    By: Jeff Chester | May 6 2015

    So-called “native advertising” ─where advertiser-produced or –directed content is designed to blend in with online editorial information ─ is quickly becoming a dominant way American consumers receive marketing. Marketers in the U.S. spent nearly $8 billion last year on native ads (up $3 billion from 2013), which is expected to rise to $21 billion by2018.1 Native ads are where the “format and the tone match that of a publisher’s original editorial content.2

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