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FTC to Behavioral Targeters: 'Police Yourselves (with Our Help)!'

Excuse me, sir? They
aren't quite tight enough.

The FTC has issued "self-regulating" guidelines for use by practitioners of behavioral advertising.

As behavioral advertising becomes more common (and more of a concern), the loose guidelines are intended to encourage responsibility among marketers and to ward off federal regulation.

Major components of the proposal include:

  • Making visitors aware that their information is being collected
  • Assuring them their information will be kept safe, and defining the ways in which it will be used
  • Providing them with the ability to opt out

The terms of info-gleaning should be explained to visitors in clear, simple language.

These guidelines were designed to be broad enough to be adopted by a wide range of practitioners.

As is generally the case with young technology, marketers are admonished to tread carefully in the realm of behavioral targeting; abuse of these guidelines may yield tougher constraints from on high.


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