DAA should partner with browsers on Do Not Track, says FTC chairman

The Digital Advertising Alliance should work to implement its online behavioral advertising opt-out mechanism on a browser level, said Federal Trade Commission (FTC) chairman Jon Leibowitz on Nov. 8.

“We encourage the DAA to join with the browser companies to make the AdChoices opt-out permanent and move us closer to a Do Not Track architecture that’s persistent,” said Leibowitz during his keynote address at the ad:tech New York conference.

The “advertising option icon” is featured on participating websites and ads that collect consumers’ online behavioral data to target ads but is not available as a browser extension or add-on.

Leibowitz said that “the DAA is making considerable progress on its AdChoices program” and is “heartened to see the DAA work with the Better Business Bureau on enforcement” but noted that the program is “not yet universal.” Leibowitz pointed to companies not participating in an industry self-regulatory program as those who “will keep the issue open at Congress.”

“Unlike Do Not Call, we do not think Do Not Track should be administered by the government,” Leibowitz said.

Last December, the FTC called for a universal Do Not Track mechanism that would allow consumers to opt out of third-party online tracking and behaviorally targeted ads. The FTC will issue a final report on online privacy “in the coming months” that will be “complementary” to an upcoming Commerce Department report on the issue, said Leibowitz.

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