Consumer Privacy

The National Advertising Initiative: The NAI is Broken and Does Not Protect Consumers

Although it is possible to identify many aspects of the NAI that are broken, this report focuses on four areas in particular:
1) the effectiveness of the NAI opt-out cookie as the primary tool for stopping tracking;
2) the applicability of the NAI to types of tracking that extend beyond the traditional cookie and to business models not expressly covered by the NAI;
3) the constantly shifting membership of the NAI; and
4) auditing and enforcement of the NAI.

WPF Release a Report: The Network Advertising Initiative: Failing at Consumer Protection and at Self-Regulation

Report | Internet privacy | NAI — The World Privacy Forum published a new report today, The Network Advertising Initiative: Failing at Consumer Protection and at Self-Regulation. The report is an in-depth analysis of the history and current operations of the National Advertising Initiative (NAI) self-regulatory agreement. The NAI was created to protect consumers’ online privacy in the behavioral advertising arena. The report finds that the NAI has failed. The report discusses the failure of the NAI opt-out cookie, the uses of persistent consumer tracking technologies that go beyond cookies, such as Flash cookies, browser cache cookies, XML super cookies, and other issues. The report also discusses the practice of re-setting cookies after cookie deletion. The report gathers the details of the difficult membership history of the NAI, as well as the enforcement history of TRUSTe regarding NAI.

Privacy and consumer groups unveil consensus document recommending expanded consumer rights and protections in the behavioral advertising sector; call for a Do Not Track list, access, limits of the use of sensitive medical and financial information, expanded notice, accessibility for people with disabilities, and other rights

Consensus document | Consumer rights and protections — Nine privacy and consumer groups, including the World Privacy Forum, unveiled a consensus document outlining key consumer rights and protections in the behavioral advertising sector. The document is directed toward the Federal Trade Commission, and urges the FTC to take proactive steps to adequately protect consumers as online and other forms of behavioral tracking and targeting become more ubiquitous. The consensus document was filed with the Secretary of the FTC and its commissioners. Behavioral advertising is the focus of the FTC’s eHavioral Advertising Town Hall meeting taking place November 1-2 in Washington, D.C. The network advertising sector has a self-regulatory plan, the Network Advertising Initiative, in place, and has had this plan in place since 2000. The consensus document addresses the many areas where the NAI plan has failedto protect consumers.

Public Comments: October 2007 – Consensus Document, Do Not Track Proposal

Ten privacy and consumer groups, including the World Privacy Forum, unveiled a consensus document outlining key consumer rights and protections in the behavioral advertising sector. The document is directed toward the Federal Trade Commission, and urges the FTC to take proactive steps to adequately protect consumers as online and other forms of behavioral tracking and targeting become more ubiquitous. The consensus document was filed with the Secretary of the FTC and its commissioners. Behavioral advertising is the focus of the FTC’s eHavioral Advertising Town Hall meeting taking place November 1-2 in Washington, D.C. The network advertising sector has a self-regulatory plan, the Network Advertising Initiative, in place, and has had this plan in place since 2000. The consensus document addresses the many areas where the NAI plan has failed to protect consumers.

World Privacy Forum testifies at FDA advisory committee hearing on the iPledge program; requests attention to privacy issues

iPledge Program | FDA — The World Privacy Forum testified before the Dermatologic and Ophthalmic Drugs Advisory Committee and the Drug Safety and Risk Management Advisory Committee of the Food and Drug Administration regarding privacy issues related to iPledge, a mandatory program for patients taking the drug Accutane or isotretinoin generics. The FDA has stated that the program, which it requires four drug manufacturers to have in place, does not fall under HIPAA. The program collects substantive amounts of patient information. The Forum urged the FDA to set privacy standards for all RiskMAPs in general, and to resolve privacy issues in the iPledge program specifically. The Forum requested that all marketing provisions of the iPledge program privacy policy be removed, that patients be expressly informed the program does not fall under HIPAA, and that patients be given a printed copy of the iPledge program privacy policy, among other requests.