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FetchBack Brings Privacy Data, Opt-Outs to Behavioral Ads

This week, FetchBack began adding a link in its behavioral ads that tell users how such ads were delivered — as well as how they can opt out.

"By providing greater consumer disclosure and clarity, Fetchback can enhance the consumer's ability to exercise meaningful choice," said President/CEO Chad Little. "It was only logical to deliver this information within the ad itself, rather than have consumers go to an advertiser’s privacy policy to fish through for details."

Spearheads of the behavioral advertising industry took a beating in a series of Congressional probes last year, in part because their behavioral ad models were automatically opt-in, with no immediately visible means to opt out.

Representative Edward Markey (D-Massachusetts), who chairs the Senate Commerce Subcommittee and oversaw the behavioral advertising debate, favors opt-in standards — particularly for internet service providers seeking to use internet-wide websurfing information to serve advertising to clients.

FetchBack places a small link at the bottom of the ads it serves, which when clicked direct users to its privacy center. This section of the FetchBack site apprises them of how the ad was delivered. It also provides an opt-out for behaviorally targeted ads from FetchBack or any other member of the Network Advertising Initiative (NAI), of which FetchBack is a member.

The NAI is composed of major US web companies, including Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, AOL, and Fox Audience Network. In December, it released a code of conduct for behavioral ads so the government would not have to intervene.

"FetchBack's adoption of enhanced notice directly within its ads is exactly the kind of innovation that can help advance the public policy debate on how best to achieve meaningful notice and choice," said Executive Director Chuck Curran of the NAI.

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