Tuesday, August 05, 2008

House to look at protection of privacy of web surfers

The House Energy and Commerce Committee will examine the role of surreptitious behavior by advertising companies on the web, and request statements from 33 Internet companies regarding their practices. The House is concerned that consumer privacy and security of consumer information can be compromised, despite claims to the contrary (with op-out provisions) from companies like Embarq, as discussed on my main blog July 25.

The companies include a lot of large players: AOL, AT&T, Comcast, Cox, Verizon, Yahoo! and Time Warner.

The committee chairman is Edward J. Markey (D-MA).

The story appears in the Business Section, p D3, “Lawmakers seek data on targeted online ads: Panel concerned about privacy on web”, by Ellen Nakashima, in The Washington Post today Aug 5, link here.

“For better or for worse,” on-line advertising is an important component of the business models that make free content on the web possible.

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