The Secure Times

An online forum of the ABA Section of Antitrust Law's Privacy and Information Security Committee

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Power i

An industry group is launching its response to the FTC’s challenge for better self-regulation of behavioral advertising.  In a variety of fora, the FTC has made it clear that it wants to see stronger and more clear disclosures regarding targeted on-line advertising.  The challenge of just how to provide useful information to consumers, who may or may not understand the technologies at issue, has proved problematic to say the least.

The Future of Privacy Forum’s answer, reported today in the New York Times, is a new "Power I" symbol that will alert consumers that further information is available regarding the source of the content they are seeing.  The hopes is that this will give consumers the power to understand and shape how their information is used online. 

The open question is whether the Power I will be enough for an FTC that seems uncomfortable with notice and consent (a/k/a contractual) solutions, and seems inclined to regulate in this area of rapidly evolving technologies.  And of course it also remains to be seen whether consumers will view this "Power I" as empowering information, or as a "Power Eye" invading their privacy. 

The full story is over at The New York Times, in the article by Stephanie Clifford, "A Little ‘i’ to Teach About Online Privacy."