We May Not Need Standards But FTC, FCC Want To Gives Us Regulations

While the standards debate rages on, our industry is fast coming under the influence of government regulations. This week has seen discussions about behavioral marketing at the FTC and the FCC weighing in on ISPs filtering sites.

The behavioral regulations being looked at by the FTC had Google, Yahoo and Microsoft commenting from different angles.

Google wanting to make sure their method of selecting ads was not rolled into the mix stated "our AdWords program allows us to provide ads on Google.com in response to search queries… . We believe this type of advertising should not be considered behavioral advertising, even if such analysis takes into consideration previous search queries." (from Alan Davidson, Senior Policy Counsel and Head of U.S. Policy, Google, Inc.).

Yahoo's VP Global Public Policy David Hantman stated: "The information they will receive when they click through for more information will include an explanation of how customization works, how they can participate in the NAI opt-out, and a link to our privacy policy where they can find more comprehensive information"

While Microsoft provided a list of ways to possibly address the issue:
Sensitive Personally Identifiable Information Advertising - Opt-in Consent;
Personally Identifiable Information Advertising - Propsective Use: Opt-out Choice;
Retroactive Use: Opt-in Consent; Behavioral Advertising — Opt-out Choice;
Multi-Site Advertising - Pass-through Notice;
Online Advertising - Prominent Notice, Security, Data Retention.

About the author

Frank Watson has been involved with the Web since it started. For the past five years, he headed SEM for FXCM -- at one time one of the top 25 spenders with AdWords. He has worked with most of the major analytics companies and pioneered the ability to tie online marketing with offline conversion.

He has now started his own marketing agency, Kangamurra Media. This new venture will keep him busy when he is not editing the Search Engine Watch forums, blogging at a number of authoritative sites, and developing some interesting online community sites.

He was one of the first 100 AdWords Professionals, a Yahoo and Overture Ambassador, and a member or mod of many of the industry forums. He is also on the Click Quality Council and has worked hard to diminish click fraud.