Practical Privacy

COPPA, Behavioral Ads, Mobile Marketing and Other Big PPS Takeaways

By Annie C. Bai, CIPP/US

Jed’s not the only one who was having a good time at last week’s Practical Privacy Series in NYC. Across the way, many of us found that an entire day was barely enough to devote to Online Marketing. First, it was all about the kids, then it was all about the web, and finally we ended with a rousing roundtable on Big Data. Here are some of the tidbits from the day that caused me to take pause and grab my pen.

More from Annie C. Bai

Do Not Track

IAPP Westin Research Center

DNT 2.0: What Next for Policymakers?

Could the appointment of Justin Brookman of the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) and Carl Cargill of Adobe salvage the World Web Consortium (W3C) Do Not Track (DNT) process? Hopefully, all sides will work together to pursue an agreed-upon solution, since an implosion of the process, which seemed inevitable on Tuesday as the Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA) announced its departure from the group, would cast a long shadow over the prospects for multi-stakeholder resolutions to the burning privacy problems of our time.

More from Omer Tene

Point - Counterpoint

How Do Not Track Can Save the Online Ad Industry

Note from the Editor:

This is the second post in a point/counterpoint between Mercatus Center Senior Research Fellow Adam Thierer and Center for Democracy & Technology Consumer Privacy Director Justin Brookman. Last week, Thierer explained why a Do-Not-Track standard will not have "a lasting, meaningful impact for long-term privacy protection."

Last Thursday, Adam Thierer took a skeptical view of Do Not Track in this blog. Echoing his recent testimony before the Senate Commerce Committee, Adam cast doubts on Do Not Track as a silver-bullet solution to online privacy woes. He noted the previous failures of policy solutions (such as P3P and CAN-SPAM) to fix online privacy issues, and he posited that users might end up opting in to far more invasive tracking as a result.

By and large, I think Adam’s pessimism is misplaced. Certainly I agree with him that Do Not Track will not be a panacea for all—or even just online—privacy concerns. But it was never envisioned as a silver bullet. To the contrary, Do Not Track is rather humbly intended as a scalable way for users to tell the universe of third-party tracking companies to stop amassing profiles about what they do online.

More from Justin Brookman

Point - Counterpoint

Let’s Not Place All Our Eggs in the Do Not Track Basket

Note from the Editor:

This is the first post in a point/counterpoint between Mercatus Center Senior Research Fellow Adam Thierer and Center for Democracy & Technology Consumer Privacy Director Justin Brookman. Look for Brookman's response next week and for more point/counterpoint posts from contributors in the future.

If there’s one lesson I’ve learned in twenty-one years of covering information technology policy, it’s that there are no simple silver-bullet solutions to complex issues like online safety, hate speech, spam, cybersecurity, data breaches, or digital privacy. Problems such as these demand a layered, multifaceted approach that incorporates many solutions, the first among these being education and awareness-based efforts.

That’s not to say that the search for technical solutions to such problems is a complete waste of time. But in my work on digital privacy, I have always stressed how misguided it is to place too much faith in any single techno-quick fix.

More from Adam Thierer