Ad Nets Step Up Self-Regulation

NAI’s Groman hopes to turn around policymaker privacy perceptions

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In the ongoing Washington debate over privacy, advertising networks get the worst rap.

A billion-dollar business, online ad networks track consumer clickstream activity in order to sell behaviorally targeted ads to clients. But as more advertisers embrace the practice, fears about privacy concerns have intensified, leading many policymakers to doubt that self-regulation is sufficient to protect consumers from companies that may be secretly monitoring (and profiting) from their every click.

It’s a perception Marc Groman, a little more than a year into his position as executive director of the Network Advertising Initiative, would like to turn around.

“I’m often perplexed by the focus on ad networks, given that there are so many other privacy concerns out there,” said Groman, the former chief privacy officer for the Federal Trade Commission.



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