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IAB Urges Balanced Approach to Online Privacy

May 15 2019

The IAB's Randall Rothenberg and Dave Grimaldi have called on Congress to rethink privacy laws and enact a bold new approach to data security which amounts to 'Do-Not-Track-Plus'.

IAB President and CEO Randall RothenbergThe pair argue that the IAB has been 'at the forefront' in creating and managing universal privacy standards, in Europe and the US. However, it has 'consistently declared its opposition to 'Do-Not-Track' legislation, on the grounds that it establishes a 'false narrative of consumer victimization, and a false sense of security about consumer control... an incorrect, noxious notion that consumers are de facto victimized by the use of their data' - as well as the 'equally false' idea that 'simply by pressing a button and stopping all this 'tracking' consumers will somehow be safe'.

The comments follow those of FTC Chairman Joseph Simons who last week urged Congress to enact tough new privacy and data security legislation, to be enforced by his organisation.

Rothenberg (pictured) and Grimaldi seek a balanced approach giving Americans 'real protection from actual harm caused by illegitimate data-sharing' but also avoiding 'blanket fear-mongering about basic uses of consumer data that have powered the economy for more than a century'. The statement complains that 'giant, vertically-integrated, data-rich platforms and browser-makers' have been left to address privacy and security concerns on their own, 'independent of each other, divorced from broader marketplace needs, and absent a defined legal or regulatory framework', and contrasts this with the unified approach the government takes to safety issues where things like food, or seatbelts and airbags in cars are concerned. Equally, consumers should not be left to 'push endless consent buttons on web sites and apps, or burrow deep into browser tools to manage who's doing what with their data' - rather: 'We should have consistent principles and tools, premised on Federal, and possibly globally recognized, rules and enforcement, that will provide consumers easy, automatic security and privacy'.

In conclusion, the IAB view says 'We want the Federal Trade Commission to be empowered and funded to oversee consumer privacy protection, and to be able to instantiate new protection rules as technology evolves... This isn't a call for 'Do-Not-Track'. Think of it as a call for 'Do-Not-Track-Plus'.

Web site: www.iab.com .

All articles 2006-19 written and edited by Mel Crowther and/or Nick Thomas.

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