WASHINGTON - December 20 - Following today’s decision by the Federal Trade Commission to approve the Google –DoubleClick merger, the Center for Democracy and Technology’s President Leslie Harris stated: "It is now important for Google to step up and make a clear, public statement about its plans for proactively protecting consumer privacy. Such a move on Google’s part would send a strong message to consumers and an industry that continues to struggle with privacy issues as online advertising evolves."
The Center for Democracy and Technology believes that the privacy and consumer protection issues raised by behavioral targeting remain an industry-wide concern, requiring ongoing attention from companies, consumers and policymakers, particularly in light of the number of major mergers and acquisitions of behavioral targeting firms that have been announced this year.
In addition to approving the Google-DoubleClick merger, the Commission also today released for public comment a set of self-regulatory principles for online behavioral targeting. CDT intends to carefully review the principles and participate in the open comment period.
“The release of these new principles is a clear sign that the Commission does not believe that the industry's current self-regulation framework is sufficient to protect consumers today,” said CDT Deputy Director Ari Schwartz.
"In releasing these principles, the FTC hasn't closed the door to other options," said CDT’s Harris. "Self-regulation is part of the solution for protecting consumer privacy, but clearly self-regulation hasn't lived up to its promises. At the end of the day, we'll need a rigorous mix of self-regulation backed by regulatory enforcement."