Advancing Security and Transparency in Online Advertising

Posted by Mike Hintze  Associate General Counsel, on the Microsoft on the Issues blog:

I wanted to take a moment to highlight an important advance  in protecting consumers online.  The  Self-Regulatory Principles For Online Behavioral Advertising  announced today require online advertisers and Web sites to provide clear notice to consumers about the data collected about them, and to give consumers control over that information. Participating groups include the American Association of Advertising Agencies,  the Association of National Advertisers, the Direct Marketing Association,  the Council of Better Business Bureaus and the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB).

Microsoft is a member of IAB and Scott Howe, our corporate vice president, advertiser and publisher solutions group, is on IAB’s board of directors. Scott had this to say about the principles: “Microsoft has a long-held belief that people should be in control of their personal information - through transparency and choice - and supports the advertising industry’s Self-Regulatory Principles for Online Behavioral Advertising. We believe protecting consumer privacy requires a combination of well crafted national legislation, self-regulation, technology solutions and consumer education.”

We’ve participated in the discussions leading to today’s release of industry principles over the last eight months. Microsoft has long held that industry self-regulation must work hand-in-hand with comprehensive federal privacy legislation, a view I testified to before Congress July 2008 and reiterated last month at the Computers, Freedom and Privacy conference in Washington, D.C.  We’ll continue working with consumer groups, Congress, the Federal Trade Commission and our industry peers to ensure that consumers’ rights are protected online, and that transparency, control and security for consumers rule the day when it comes to data collection online.

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