According to the report, three principles that companies should follow to protect consumer privacy online include: 1) incorporating privacy protections as new products and services are developed; 2) giving consumers a choice over how their data is collected and shared; and 3) being transparent about their data collection and sharing practices.
So, what does this mean for marketers? If you collect data from your customers online, the FTC wants you to “self-regulate” – which is what most companies that collect and use consumer data for targeting have already been doing.
The new report also stresses the need for a standard “Do Not Track” mechanism that can be used globally, which the FTC will work with the Digital Advertising Alliance and World Wide Web Consortium to develop. The mechanism should be available for use by the end of the year, according to FTC chairman Jon Leibowitz.
The need for companies to obtain “affirmative express consent” from consumers before they use their online data for purposes other than targeting remains at the forefront of the report. From the Washington Post: “The agency called on companies to… encourage Congress to consider baseline privacy legislation and measures on data security and data brokers. The FTC also reiterated its recommendations that Congress pass legislation to provide consumers with access to their personal data that is held by companies that compile data for marketing purposes.”
You can access the full FTC report here. What are your thoughts on these latest developments?