Behavioral Targeting And The Privacy Dilemma
I didn't attend the conference where Kaushik gave the keynote Tuesday. We'll just have to take Caverly's word for it.
Although this advice seems logical, some of the biggest concerns about behavioral tracking suggest a breach in consumer privacy. At a conference held by the law firm Proskauer, Federal Trade Commission member Julie Brill on Tuesday explained the commission won't recommend new laws, but rather believes the industry should focus on a "new self-regulatory framework." Elaborating, she said the behavioral targeting industry should improve privacy efforts by providing consistent and simplified notice about online tracking and ad-serving when the data is collected or used.
Data management has become painful for the online advertising industry. While the technology exists to improve consumer experiences, the dilemma becomes how to use it without causing a leak or breaking the rules. Consumers have options in apps like Ghostery, aimed at providing insight into the invisible Web such as tags, bugs, pixels and beacons found on Web pages to track online behavior.
David Norris, CEO at BlueCava, a credit bureau for devices conducting business online, thinks consumers desire behavioral targeting but don't understand it. Most consumers want to see ads tailored for them. A man doesn't want to get ads about cosmetics -- not unless he wear makeup himself or wants to buy something for his wife.
Having relevant advertising is actually helpful, but that hasn't occurred to most consumers yet. Advertisers need to make that message clear or consumers will continue to resist the idea of behavioral targeting. Norris says BlueCava plans to help solve that problem by providing tool where consumers can specify the ads they want to receive or opt out. The company will also provide educational material that explains that if consumers opt out, it doesn't mean they won't get advertising. It just means they won't get advertising relevant to them. The information will launch on a Web site within the next 60 days.
BlueCava continues to attract attention with this focus. The company closed a $5 million first funding round this week led by billionaire Mark Cuban and entrepreneur Tim Headington.