New forms of sophisticated digital sign networks are being deployed widely by retailers and others in both public and private spaces. Few consumers, legislators, regulators, or policy makers are aware of the capabilities of digital signs or of the extent of their use. The technology presents new problems and highlights old conflicts about privacy, public spaces, and the need for a meaningful debate. The privacy problems inherent in digital networks are profound, and to date these issues have not been adequately addressed by anyone.
The following document is the recommended code of conduct for businesses engaging in consumer tracking. The document is entirely non-binding, and was created entirely by industry participants. The document is reproduced here in full with no changes.
Best Practices: Recommended Code of Conduct for Consumer Tracking Methods
FTC Privacy Roundtable — WPF executive director Pam Dixon will testify at the FTC Privacy Roundtable about information brokers and commercial data practices and they impact consumers. Dixon will be discussing the business models of data brokers, issues with smart grids, and opt-out problems, among other issues.
Congressional testimony — WPF executive director Pam Dixon testified at a joint subcommittee hearing focused on privacy and the collection and use of online and offline consumer information. Dixon’s testimony focused on the new “modern permanent record” and how it is used and created. Dixon said “The merging of offline and online data is creating highly personalized, granular profiles of consumers that affect consumers’ opportunities in the marketplace and in their lives. Consumers are largely unaware of these profiles and their consequences, and they have insufficient legal rights to change things even if they did know.” The testimony explored concrete examples of problematic consumer profiling activities.
Job applicant rights and privacy — This visual timeline chronicles a year of a job scam. The timeline documents the cities the fake jobs were targeting, dates the jobs posted, the various company names the scam operated under, and the contact names used in the scam. The job scam timeline is documented with screen shots of the job listings and how they looked as posted. The scam is still active.