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.
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.
By: Alyce Myatt | May 7 2015
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.
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.
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.
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
By: Alyce Myatt | Apr 22 2015
CDD's executive director Jeff Chester called on regulators representing dozens of nations to address the role that today's data collection complex plays in consumer transactions and services. Speaking at the 2015 annual meeting of the International Consumer Protection and Enforcement Network (ICPEN), Chester said that in order to protect consumes today's regulatory agencies--such as the FTC--must understand how data issues are integrally a part of consumer services, including in the financial, health, and retail marketplace. A modified version of the presentation is attached, minus the vi
By: Alyce Myatt | Apr 3 2015
What is "Path to Purchase" and why is it important to understand it in today's world of digital media?
See CDD's latest educational infographic on the topic to learn more about how this affects you.
By: Jeff Chester | Oct 29 2014
U.S. PIRG Education Fund and the Center for Digital Democracy (CDD) respectfully submit these additional comments to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). A set of regulatory and other safeguards is urgently required to ensure that contemporary “Big Data”-driven financial services are used in an equitable, transparent, and responsible manner. All Americans, especially those who confront daily challenges to their economic security, should be assured that their lives will be enhanced—not undermined—by the new digital-data financial services marketplace.
By: Jeff Chester | May 12 2014
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
Private For-Profit Colleges and Online Lead Generation
By: Jeff Chester | May 2 2014
Below are some of the groups who online marketers have turned an eye on for some of their more sophisticated and problematic digital marketing practices.
By: Jeff Chester | Mar 27 2014
Groups File Report with the White House “Big Data” Review Proceeding
By: Jeff Chester | Mar 1 2014
Dramatic changes are transforming the U.S. financial marketplace. Far-reaching capabilities of “Big-Data” processing that gather, analyze, predict, and make instantaneous decisions about an individual; technological innovation spurring new and competitive financial products; the rapid adoption of the mobile phone as the principal online device; and advances in e-commerce and marketing that change the way we shop and buy, are creating a new landscape that holds both potential promise and risks for economically vulnerable Americans.
By: Jeff Chester | Feb 12 2012
Here's the abstract.