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Online Privacy Alliance Formed

January 13 2009

In the US, four marketing and ad industry associations have partnered to develop self-regulatory principles which will address concerns about the use of online consumer data for behavioral advertising purposes.

The associations are the American Association of Advertising Agencies (AAAA), the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), and the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB). The Council of Better Business Bureaus (BBB), an organization dedicated to advancing marketplace trust, is also part of the effort.

Members of these associations and other participants in the group represent thousands of advertisers, agencies, marketers, publishers, media companies, ad networks, and other service providers, including the major participants in the online advertising marketplace.

This task force will engage with policymakers, a broad cross section of business, consumers, and other stakeholders as it addresses the public policy issues surrounding online behavioral advertising.

It is currently discussing the areas for self-regulation set out in the Federal Trade Commission's proposed self-regulatory principles issued in December 2007, including education and transparency, consumer notification and choice, data security, and self-regulatory enforcement.

'Behavioral marketing provides enormous benefits to consumers, but it is our responsibility as marketers to ensure the web-surfing public's privacy interests remain protected,' said ANA President and CEO Bob Liodice. 'Strong and comprehensive self-regulation strikes a balance that both protects the public interest and allows marketers to provide relevant advertising, which is particularly critical during this period of economic downturn.'

Web sites: www.aaaa.org , www.ana.net , www.the-dma.org , www.iab.net and www.bbb.org .

Last year, the IAB formally adopted privacy guidelines designed to give users control over the use of their personal data by online advertisers.

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