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Groups File FTC Complaint on Real-Time Ad Auctions

BEHAVIORAL TARGETING—U.S.

April 9, 2010

Three privacy groups filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Thursday morning seeking a review of the practice of "real-time auctions" for online advertising slots, the New York Times reports. In their 32-page filing, the World Privacy Forum, U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) and the Center for Digital Democracy are calling the technology a "privacy threat" that enables "the real-time profiling, targeting and auctioning of consumers..." The complaint cautions that the data sources available for sale online provide detailed information on consumers. "Consumers will be most shocked to learn that companies are instantaneously combining the details of their online lives with information from previously unconnected offline databases without their knowledge, let alone consent," says Ed Mierzwinski of U.S. PIRG.
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