Ad trackers rejoice: US Web privacy policy = no change

Professional Web advertisers who track the sites you visit in hopes of selling you stuff were reassured, not scared, by the Obama administration's new "Privacy Bill of Rights." In short, it's still up to users, not advertisers, to ask not to be tracked or our browsings bought and sold.

Three Philadelphians - Scott Meyer, chief executive of Havertown-based Evidon; Stu Libby, partner at Venable's Haddonfield office and head of the Digital Advertising Alliance; and Mark Naples of Wit Strategy - were among the industry luminaries woh visited the White House last Thursday for the new policy's unveiling.

Meyer's post to clients here links key documents and summarizes the new policy from his point of view. High points:  

"What companies need to do to comply with the US Self-Regulatory Program for Online Behavioral Advertising has not changed based on anything that happened today...

"Worry #1 we heard was: browser-based do not track solutions means we’re going back to opt-in as the default for data collection; Worry #2 was: the Ad Choices Icon has been judged to be insufficient and won’t satisfy the FTC, Congress or the Administration, so we’re going to a browser-based solution....  This couldn’t be farther from the truth.

"The default settings for Do Not Track functionality in Firefox and IE are opt-out. No indication of that changing. As for the Ad Choices Icon program, FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz (statement here) and Secretary of Commerce John Bryson (statement here) made it crystal clear that the Ad Choices Icon program is a success that should be built upon."