Just An Online Minute... Who's Really Wearing The White Hat?
The guy believes the Internet is an incredibly effective medium for communicating with consumers, he even uses it himself. And that's the problem. This media honcho, like many of us in the industry who should know better, but somehow do not, has somehow inadvertently downloaded spyware applications on his home computer and he can no longer use it. Worse, his kids can't use it.
We all have such personal stories, of course, but when a big marketer who is in the throes of evaluating the Internet for his own advertising plans can't even use his personal computer because of spyware, that becomes an industrial problem.
It's that kind of anecdote that motivated an ad-hoc group to organize an anti-spyware initiative. The group, spearheaded by Dynamic Logic, Revenue Science, and Tacoda, has strong support from some of the industry's trade groups, including the Interactive Advertising Bureau and the Online Publishers Association. But because it is ad-hoc, it can move more quickly and nimbly than the big trade groups at a time when, well, time is of the essence.
In a little more than a month, when Congress returns for a new session, it will be considering some so-called "anti-spyware legislation." It's called anti-spyware, but some of the biggest spyware and adware groups have been among the most aggressive lobbyists on the topic and have influenced the proposed legislation in a way that may not be in the best interests of legitimate marketers or, more importantly, the consumer.
"The bad guys are wearing the black hats," says one of the anti-spyware initiative organizers, adding that it is important for legitimate marketers, agencies, publishers, and providers to support the best elements of anti-spyware legislation, while ensuring that some good industry practices, like the legitimate use of third-party cookies, don't get caught up in the fray.