Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.
 

Re: [webanalytics] Re: The FTC is being asked to investigate the regulation of data collection ...

Expand Messages
  • Joe Wilson
    Jay, I see two problems with this. First, the filing is not about the collection and use of PII, but anonymous data. Second, the NAI represents only a
    Message 1 of 27 , Nov 3, 2006
      Jay,

      I see two problems with this. First, the filing is not about the collection and use of PII, but anonymous data. Second, the NAI represents only a portion of the industry as does the WAA, the OPA, etc. There is no one industry organization or one set of guidelines that is accepted across the industry.

      However, in the end, I see this as a good thing. The FTC is unlikely to significantly restrict the use of anonymous data for the very reason that it is anonymous. To do so would get mired down in arguments of whether 10 data points is ok, but 100 is not. There are no reasonable, generally applicable guidelines that one can imagine. The use of this data is too diverse.

      Second, I think there is a strong argument that this is the publishers data, not the consumers. I know that this is probably not a popular position, but the publisher is providing a service to the consumer and the terms (usually clearly spelled out in the privacy policy) is that the publisher collects and shares certain anonymous data. By using the site, consumers have given publishers the right to use this data.

      I think the best outcome of this would be that the FTC require publishers to provide more direct notification of data policies and relationships and have consumers opt-in to that. Since a significant reduction in the volume of data would put most publishers businesses at risk, an interstitial notice and consent would be the likely form this would take (or some variation of "free" content and consent as is the case with registration on many sites today). Not only would this put online on par with other businesses (loyalty card programs, credit cards, magazine subscription data, etc), it would also create a strong incentive to the consumer to accept and keep the publishers cookies since this would be the only way for a publisher to know that the consumer has already consented.

      If nothing else, this has taken us one step closer to having the discussion that has been sorely needed for some time - how are we going to address the balance between consumer privacy anbd widespread "free" content and services on the web?

      Regards,

      Joe
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Jay McCarthy <jmccarthy@...>
      To: webanalytics@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Friday, November 03, 2006 11:08:32 AM
      Subject: RE: [webanalytics] Re: The FTC is being asked to investigate the regulation of data collection ...

      Hi Everyone,



      I wouldn't get too worked up about this. There are some long standing
      guidelines on collection and association of PII with click-stream data.
      The NAI principles are pretty reasonable and have been supported by the
      FTC in the past. They say that if you are going to collect PII and
      associate it with click-stream data for marketing purposes you must
      provide robust notice at the point that you collect the PII. In some
      cases these guidelines would require additional notice or in the case
      that data collection would cross multiple sites you would need to get
      opt-in consent. The problem is most people in the web analytics space
      aren't aware of these guidelines, but should educate themselves given
      the FTC support for them.



      The WAA is working on a set of advisories which discuss this in more
      detail, but we're not inclined to reinvent the wheel here unless the new
      complaints expose deficiencies in the current best practices. The NAI
      guidelines are at www.networkadvertising.org
      <http://www.networkadvertising.org/> .






      -Jay-





      ________________________________

      From: webanalytics@yahoogroups.com [mailto:webanalytics@yahoogroups.com]
      On Behalf Of jim.newsome
      Sent: Friday, November 03, 2006 4:28 AM
      To: webanalytics@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [webanalytics] Re: The FTC is being asked to investigate the
      regulation of data collection ...



      Great catch Eric, thanks. This is v bad news. I've posted a fuller
      repsonse on your blog:
      http://www.webanalyticsdemystified.com/weblog/2006/11/ftc-is-being-asked
      -to-investigate.html?vs_b=Web%20Analytics%20Demystified&vs_p=The%20FTC%2
      0is%20being%20asked%20to%20investigate%20the%20regulation%20of%20data%20
      collection%20via%20the%20Internet&vs_k=1
      <http://www.webanalyticsdemystified.com/weblog/2006/11/ftc-is-being-aske
      d-to-investigate.html?vs_b=Web%20Analytics%20Demystified&vs_p=The%20FTC%
      20is%20being%20asked%20to%20investigate%20the%20regulation%20of%20data%2
      0collection%20via%20the%20Internet&vs_k=1> )

      Let's hope this can be a catalyst to action.

      Jim
      _____________________________________________
      Google Analytics Authorised Consultants
      http://www.ga-experts.co.uk?utm_id=7
      <http://www.ga-experts.co.uk?utm_id=7>

      --- In webanalytics@yahoogroups.com
      <mailto:webanalytics%40yahoogroups.com> , "Eric Peterson"
      <eric.peterson@...> wrote:





      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]




      ---------------------------------------
      The Web Analytics Forum
      Founded by Eric T. Peterson (www.webanalyticsdemystified.com)
      Moderated by the Web Analytics Association (www.webanalyticsassociation.org)
      Email moderators at: webanalytics-moderators@yahoogroups.com
      Yahoo! Groups Links
    • Eric Peterson
      Hey Jay, can you send the group the specific URL for the NAI guidelines and/or share up the text of the document you showed me earlier today (the WAA draft on
      Message 2 of 27 , Nov 3, 2006
        Hey Jay, can you send the group the specific URL for the NAI
        guidelines and/or share up the text of the document you showed me
        earlier today (the WAA draft on the subject)? I asked a few folks
        today if they'd seen the guidelines you reference and got the
        electronic version of a blank stare ...

        I think it would be worthwhile for everyone to see what the NAI has
        already vetted with the FTC and what the WAA is thinking in this
        regard. I personally get hung-up on the notion of "robust notice" and
        "opt-in" and would like to hear what others in the community think
        about the line that is already drawn in the sand.

        Let us know if you can post that up, or if you would simply be okay
        with my publishing the draft WAA guidance in my weblog, etc.

        Thanks!

        Eric T. Peterson
        Author, Moderator, Visual Sciences Employee
        http://www.webanalyticsdemystified.com/weblog



        --- In webanalytics@yahoogroups.com, "Jay McCarthy" <jmccarthy@...> wrote:
        >
        > Hi Everyone,
        >
        >
        >
        > I wouldn't get too worked up about this. There are some long standing
        > guidelines on collection and association of PII with click-stream data.
        > The NAI principles are pretty reasonable and have been supported by the
        > FTC in the past. They say that if you are going to collect PII and
        > associate it with click-stream data for marketing purposes you must
        > provide robust notice at the point that you collect the PII. In some
        > cases these guidelines would require additional notice or in the case
        > that data collection would cross multiple sites you would need to get
        > opt-in consent. The problem is most people in the web analytics space
        > aren't aware of these guidelines, but should educate themselves given
        > the FTC support for them.
        >
        >
        >
        > The WAA is working on a set of advisories which discuss this in more
        > detail, but we're not inclined to reinvent the wheel here unless the new
        > complaints expose deficiencies in the current best practices. The NAI
        > guidelines are at www.networkadvertising.org
        > <http://www.networkadvertising.org/> .
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > -Jay-
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > ________________________________
        >
        > From: webanalytics@yahoogroups.com [mailto:webanalytics@yahoogroups.com]
        > On Behalf Of jim.newsome
        > Sent: Friday, November 03, 2006 4:28 AM
        > To: webanalytics@yahoogroups.com
        > Subject: [webanalytics] Re: The FTC is being asked to investigate the
        > regulation of data collection ...
        >
        >
        >
        > Great catch Eric, thanks. This is v bad news. I've posted a fuller
        > repsonse on your blog:
        > http://www.webanalyticsdemystified.com/weblog/2006/11/ftc-is-being-asked
        > -to-investigate.html?vs_b=Web%20Analytics%20Demystified&vs_p=The%20FTC%2
        > 0is%20being%20asked%20to%20investigate%20the%20regulation%20of%20data%20
        > collection%20via%20the%20Internet&vs_k=1
        > <http://www.webanalyticsdemystified.com/weblog/2006/11/ftc-is-being-aske
        > d-to-investigate.html?vs_b=Web%20Analytics%20Demystified&vs_p=The%20FTC%
        > 20is%20being%20asked%20to%20investigate%20the%20regulation%20of%20data%2
        > 0collection%20via%20the%20Internet&vs_k=1> )
        >
        > Let's hope this can be a catalyst to action.
        >
        > Jim
        > _____________________________________________
        > Google Analytics Authorised Consultants
        > http://www.ga-experts.co.uk?utm_id=7
        > <http://www.ga-experts.co.uk?utm_id=7>
        >
        > --- In webanalytics@yahoogroups.com
        > <mailto:webanalytics%40yahoogroups.com> , "Eric Peterson"
        > <eric.peterson@> wrote:
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
      • Stephane Hamel
        Hi Jay, I think your comment makes a lot of sense. In my opinion, the collection of privately identifiable and anonymous data is already well governed by
        Message 3 of 27 , Nov 4, 2006
          Hi Jay,
          I think your comment makes a lot of sense. In my opinion, the
          collection of privately identifiable and anonymous data is already
          well governed by existing laws, not only in the US, but in most
          countries including Canada and the European Union. The good thing is
          those laws generally not only apply to the Web and the Internet, but
          also to other kinds of data collection in our day to day lives.

          The W3C P3P initiative is also a good demonstration of "positive
          intent" by the industry. If P3P was more widely spread, maybe such
          activists groups would have less room to complain?

          For those interested, I have posted a couple of references and summary
          about the Canadian "Personal Information Protection and Electronic
          Document Act" (PIPEDA) at
          http://shamel.blogspot.com/2006/11/web-analytics-and-privacy.html
          This law is not strongly enforced, but the companies I worked with who
          tried to comply found out it was not a dead end when it came to the
          use of web analytics solutions.

          Cheers,
          Stephane
          http://shamel.blogspot.com
        • Jay McCarthy
          Hey Eric, Here you are: http://www.networkadvertising.org/industry/principles.asp I can t share the WAA advisories yet because they are in very rough form.
          Message 4 of 27 , Nov 4, 2006
            Hey Eric,



            Here you are:



            http://www.networkadvertising.org/industry/principles.asp



            I can't share the WAA advisories yet because they are in very rough
            form. Reviewing what the NAI has already done is a good start though.




            -Jay-

            ________________________________

            From: webanalytics@yahoogroups.com [mailto:webanalytics@yahoogroups.com]
            On Behalf Of Eric Peterson
            Sent: Friday, November 03, 2006 8:22 PM
            To: webanalytics@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: [webanalytics] Re: The FTC is being asked to investigate the
            regulation of data collection ...



            Hey Jay, can you send the group the specific URL for the NAI
            guidelines and/or share up the text of the document you showed me
            earlier today (the WAA draft on the subject)? I asked a few folks
            today if they'd seen the guidelines you reference and got the
            electronic version of a blank stare ...

            I think it would be worthwhile for everyone to see what the NAI has
            already vetted with the FTC and what the WAA is thinking in this
            regard. I personally get hung-up on the notion of "robust notice" and
            "opt-in" and would like to hear what others in the community think
            about the line that is already drawn in the sand.

            Let us know if you can post that up, or if you would simply be okay
            with my publishing the draft WAA guidance in my weblog, etc.

            Thanks!

            Eric T. Peterson
            Author, Moderator, Visual Sciences Employee
            http://www.webanalyticsdemystified.com/weblog
            <http://www.webanalyticsdemystified.com/weblog>

            --- In webanalytics@yahoogroups.com
            <mailto:webanalytics%40yahoogroups.com> , "Jay McCarthy" <jmccarthy@...>
            wrote:
            >
            > Hi Everyone,
            >
            >
            >
            > I wouldn't get too worked up about this. There are some long standing
            > guidelines on collection and association of PII with click-stream
            data.
            > The NAI principles are pretty reasonable and have been supported by
            the
            > FTC in the past. They say that if you are going to collect PII and
            > associate it with click-stream data for marketing purposes you must
            > provide robust notice at the point that you collect the PII. In some
            > cases these guidelines would require additional notice or in the case
            > that data collection would cross multiple sites you would need to get
            > opt-in consent. The problem is most people in the web analytics space
            > aren't aware of these guidelines, but should educate themselves given
            > the FTC support for them.
            >
            >
            >
            > The WAA is working on a set of advisories which discuss this in more
            > detail, but we're not inclined to reinvent the wheel here unless the
            new
            > complaints expose deficiencies in the current best practices. The NAI
            > guidelines are at www.networkadvertising.org
            > <http://www.networkadvertising.org/
            <http://www.networkadvertising.org/> > .
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > -Jay-
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > ________________________________
            >
            > From: webanalytics@yahoogroups.com
            <mailto:webanalytics%40yahoogroups.com>
            [mailto:webanalytics@yahoogroups.com
            <mailto:webanalytics%40yahoogroups.com> ]
            > On Behalf Of jim.newsome
            > Sent: Friday, November 03, 2006 4:28 AM
            > To: webanalytics@yahoogroups.com
            <mailto:webanalytics%40yahoogroups.com>
            > Subject: [webanalytics] Re: The FTC is being asked to investigate the
            > regulation of data collection ...
            >
            >
            >
            > Great catch Eric, thanks. This is v bad news. I've posted a fuller
            > repsonse on your blog:
            >
            http://www.webanalyticsdemystified.com/weblog/2006/11/ftc-is-being-asked
            <http://www.webanalyticsdemystified.com/weblog/2006/11/ftc-is-being-aske
            d>
            >
            -to-investigate.html?vs_b=Web%20Analytics%20Demystified&vs_p=The%20FTC%2
            >
            0is%20being%20asked%20to%20investigate%20the%20regulation%20of%20data%20
            > collection%20via%20the%20Internet&vs_k=1
            >
            <http://www.webanalyticsdemystified.com/weblog/2006/11/ftc-is-being-aske
            <http://www.webanalyticsdemystified.com/weblog/2006/11/ftc-is-being-aske
            >
            >
            d-to-investigate.html?vs_b=Web%20Analytics%20Demystified&vs_p=The%20FTC%
            >
            20is%20being%20asked%20to%20investigate%20the%20regulation%20of%20data%2
            > 0collection%20via%20the%20Internet&vs_k=1> )
            >
            > Let's hope this can be a catalyst to action.
            >
            > Jim
            > _____________________________________________
            > Google Analytics Authorised Consultants
            > http://www.ga-experts.co.uk?utm_id=7
            <http://www.ga-experts.co.uk?utm_id=7>
            > <http://www.ga-experts.co.uk?utm_id=7
            <http://www.ga-experts.co.uk?utm_id=7> >
            >
            > --- In webanalytics@yahoogroups.com
            <mailto:webanalytics%40yahoogroups.com>
            > <mailto:webanalytics%40yahoogroups.com> , "Eric Peterson"
            > <eric.peterson@> wrote:
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            >





            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Stephen Turner
            ... I have always doubted that this last sentence is legally watertight, and I think it s a bad strategy from a practical point of view too. I don t even
            Message 5 of 27 , Nov 6, 2006
              --- In webanalytics@yahoogroups.com, Joe Wilson <joe.wilson@...> wrote:
              >
              > Second, I think there is a strong argument that this is the
              > publishers data, not the consumers. I know that this is probably
              > not a popular position, but the publisher is providing a service to
              > the consumer and the terms (usually clearly spelled out in the
              > privacy policy) is that the publisher collects and shares certain
              > anonymous data. By using the site, consumers have given publishers
              > the right to use this data.
              >

              I have always doubted that this last sentence is legally watertight,
              and I think it's a bad strategy from a practical point of view too. I
              don't even pretend to be a lawyer, but my understanding is that the
              legal notices on the website have no force whatsoever unless the
              visitor has explicitly agreed to them. And we really don't want to
              have to press an OK button before viewing any website, do we?

              No, the data is OK for another reason -- because it's anonymous. We
              should campaign to ensure that the law draws a clear distinction
              between anonymous data and PII. PII should require the explicit
              agreement of the visitor (and they can be asked for that agreement
              when they provide the data). Anonymous data shouldn't require any
              agreement from the visitor. Putting a notice on the site about what
              you do with anonymous data is good business practice, but don't
              confuse that with having any sort of contract or agreement with the
              casual reader of your website.

              --
              Stephen Turner
              CTO, ClickTracks http://www.clicktracks.com/
              <http://www.clicktracks.com/>
              WINNER: ClickZ Best Web Analytics Tool 2003, 2004 & 2005
            • Joe Wilson
              ... Actually, I agree that the presumed ownership of data based upon existing notice mechanisms is legally shaky. However, I disagree that an initial
              Message 6 of 27 , Nov 6, 2006
                > I have always doubted that this last sentence is legally watertight,
                > and I think it's a bad strategy from a practical point of view too. I
                > don't even pretend to be a lawyer, but my understanding is that the
                > legal notices on the website have no force whatsoever unless the
                > visitor has explicitly agreed to them. And we really don't want to
                > have to press an OK button before viewing any website, do we?

                Actually, I agree that the presumed ownership of data based upon existing notice mechanisms is legally shaky. However, I disagree that an initial agreement to the terms for a website before accessing the content would be a bad thing. At least in the US (and IANAL either), this is the minimum standard in offline data collection (anonymous or otherwise) for loyalty programs and such.

                Obviously, the question of how frequently a consumer must be notified can make the difference between a useful and onerous requirement, but it seems to me that this significantly clears the currently muddy waters if, for example, a publisher was required to get affirmative consent once every 6 months.. In fact, many publishers that I have spoken to would accept this approach but they do not want to be the only one requiring this notice and hence we have a catch-22 without industry or government action.

                Regards,

                Joe Wilson
                Chief Scientist
                TACODA
              • kenhillzid
                Maybe this is actually a good thing for our industry. Lets look at the reasons this could be so; 1. There is a lot of misinformation and FUD(Fear,Uncertainty
                Message 7 of 27 , Nov 6, 2006
                  Maybe this is actually a good thing for our industry. Lets look at
                  the reasons this could be so;

                  1. There is a lot of misinformation and FUD(Fear,Uncertainty and
                  Doubt) about analytics and our practices. Making the rules very
                  clear would dispell some of that. It would also enable better
                  cooperation between the analytics tools and the security tools.

                  In the current environment people use tools that flag cookies
                  as "problems" and recommend deletion. That results in uncertainty as
                  to the percentage of deleted cookies we have to factor into our
                  analysis.

                  Having clear rules would mean that cookies that were explicitly
                  agreed to could be flagged as such and the tools would ignore them.

                  2. We would be forced to create a value proposition for our site
                  visitors such that they would want to be trackable. The grocery
                  store card is a good example. They make the value clear and
                  reinforce it every visit by showing the money saved as a rebate on
                  the bill. That creates a level of loyalty that we should strive to
                  reach.

                  3. Having explicit permission and a declaration of loyalty means we
                  can start tracking more effectively since we can be more certain of
                  our numbers.

                  We would also have very good information as to the percentage of our
                  visitors who agreed to or refused our cookies. We would then have
                  numbers we could start to trust and work with.

                  Having a small but certain percentage of our total visitors who keep
                  their cookies beats an uncertain but larger percentage that could
                  delete them at any time.
                • Jim Newsome
                  Hi Steven, You make a very strong point - distinguishing between PII & anonymous data is absolutely crucial to defusing public concerns. However there is some
                  Message 8 of 27 , Nov 7, 2006
                    Hi Steven,

                    You make a very strong point - distinguishing between PII & anonymous
                    data is absolutely crucial to defusing public concerns. However there
                    is some extremely woolly thinking going on in the FTA petition itself
                    that is indicative of the problems we face in explaining this to the
                    general public. The document actually says:

                    "Over the next few years, as the distinctions between online and "old"
                    media blur still further, there will be a ubiquitous interactive
                    environment. So, too, in this fluid, new environment, with all manner
                    of data compiled and analyzed, will the distinction between anonymous
                    and personally identifiable information disappear."

                    This is just an example of the poor thinking and knee-jerk reactions
                    we are up against. We need to make clear that that "the distinction
                    between anonymous and personally identifiable information" will *not*
                    disappear - the two will always and by their very definition be
                    recognisably distinct - then we can move on to a method for reassuring
                    the public of this.

                    IMHO there are two approaches we could be considering here. If we can
                    be proactive in responding to the concerns in the petition by coming
                    up with our own Code of Conduct that states explicitly the parameters
                    which limit data collection then we have an effective 'carrot'. And I
                    agree that the key element here is personally identifiable
                    information. This is the limit beyond which analytics should not
                    tread without the permission of the user. It's a simple rule
                    (admittedly with complex repercussions) and as such it can be
                    communicated to the average internet user simply and understandably.

                    The 'stick' is to point out that advertising is currently paying for
                    the internet (sweeping statement I know) and the reason is because of
                    the accountability and the call and response of online marketing. If
                    you want to take away the ability to serve up increasingly relevant
                    and targeted data then the benefits of online advertising over
                    traditional media will disappear. All we'll have is spam, spam and
                    more spam choking the life and the user experience out of the web.

                    Jim
                    _________________________________________
                    Google Analytics Authorised Consultants
                    http://www.ga-experts.co.uk/blog?utm_id=7

                    --- In webanalytics@yahoogroups.com, "Stephen Turner"
                    <s.r.e.turner@...> wrote:
                    >
                  • Stephane Hamel
                    Following the recent posts about the FTC, PII and anonymous data, it appears that ChangeThis (http://www.changethis.com) was at it too with a new Manifesto
                    Message 9 of 27 , Nov 7, 2006
                      Following the recent posts about the FTC, PII and anonymous data, it
                      appears that ChangeThis (http://www.changethis.com) was at it too with
                      a new Manifesto entitled "The Seven Principles of Privacy: Protect
                      Your Customers' Privacy Ethically, Not Legally"
                      (http://www.changethis.com/28.02.PrinciplesPrivacy), authored by David
                      Holtzman. I guess this will be covered in depth in his book "Privacy
                      Lost: How Technology is Endangering Your Privacy". The manifesto
                      highlights 7 ethical principles which might be worth looking at:

                      1) Don't spy on me because you can
                      2) Thou shall erase my data: Don't keep data any longer than you have
                      to; you can't give up what you don't have.
                      3) Keep my information to thyself: Require customers to opt-in for
                      each additional use of their information.
                      4) Don't judge me: Never create a profiling system that labels your
                      customers in a way that you'd have trouble justifying if they ever saw
                      their file, because some day they probably will.
                      5) Protect my data like it were thine own: Provide the best computer
                      security that you can afford.
                      6) I am who I say I am: Let your customers pick their own demographics.
                      7) Don't humiliate me: Avoid embarrassing your customers by
                      mishandling their data.

                      Some of those points really focus on corporate employees, while others
                      could be applied to anonymous data, and some are really closely tied
                      up to personal information management.

                      "Laws make poor privacy guidelines. Business people need better
                      directions when navigating their customer relationships than simply to
                      be told to steer around legal roadblocks. Boardroom discussions should
                      be less about what is permissible and prohibited and more about what
                      is positive and proactive—in short, what is ethical. The question
                      should not be "Can we do this?" but "Should we do this?" "What's the
                      right thing to do?" If your company handles the electronic
                      representation of the customer the way that they'd deal with them if
                      they were standing face-to-face, you'll do fine."

                      It is more a general view on privacy and anonymity not specific to our
                      focus on web analytics, however, there are some good tidbits in the
                      complete article (plus, the ChangeThis format is fantastic, check it
                      out if you never had the chance before!).

                      Stephane
                      http://shamel.blogspot.com
                    • Debbie Pascoe
                      I m weighing in as the contrarian in this discussion. I disagree that this is not a big deal. The entire web analytics industry, which is quite crowded, came
                      Message 10 of 27 , Nov 7, 2006
                        I'm weighing in as the contrarian in this discussion. I disagree that
                        this is not a big deal. The entire web analytics industry, which is
                        quite crowded, came about precisely because marketers have such an
                        intense desire to gather as much information as possible about their
                        target market in order to increase their own profits. What's
                        happening now is a virtual pile-on. The right of the consumer to be
                        left alone has been completely obliterated, and as individuals, we are
                        increasingly powerless to do anything about it.

                        As Stephane points out, "The W3C P3P initiative is also a good
                        demonstration of "positive intent" by the industry. If P3P was more
                        widely spread, maybe such activists groups would have less room to
                        complain?"

                        The last sentence caught my attention. We have examined thousands of
                        sites, and the number that have a P3P statement, properly posted, is
                        miniscule. P3P is closely tied to the use of third party cookies.
                        After the uproar last year about third-party cookies, many sites
                        switched to using first-party cookies, which has likely resulted in
                        even less attention to P3P statements.

                        P3P issues aside, the FTC complaint does not focus on the collection
                        of personal information or personally identifiable information. At
                        issue is the right of marketers to track people all around the
                        internet, and target them for specific action. One does not have to
                        know your name in order to stalk you. The notion that marketers are
                        helping consumers by giving them the right choice at the right time,
                        suggesting pairings, and the like, is still underpinned by the desire
                        of the marketer to increase profits.

                        I believe this filing is the first shot across the bow.


                        Debbie Pascoe



                        --- In webanalytics@yahoogroups.com, "Stephane Hamel" <shamel67@...>
                        wrote:
                        >
                        > Hi Jay,
                        > I think your comment makes a lot of sense. In my opinion, the
                        > collection of privately identifiable and anonymous data is already
                        > well governed by existing laws, not only in the US, but in most
                        > countries including Canada and the European Union. The good thing is
                        > those laws generally not only apply to the Web and the Internet, but
                        > also to other kinds of data collection in our day to day lives.
                        >
                        > The W3C P3P initiative is also a good demonstration of "positive
                        > intent" by the industry. If P3P was more widely spread, maybe such
                        > activists groups would have less room to complain?
                      • Jenn
                        Just getting up-to-date on messages and the happenings in the wide world of web after getting caught up in actual -- gasp! -- work :) I agree with the
                        Message 11 of 27 , Nov 9, 2006
                          Just getting up-to-date on messages and the happenings in the wide
                          world of web after getting caught up in actual -- gasp! -- work :)

                          I agree with the statements about separating personal information
                          from anonymous information and gathering only information you need.
                          For the purposes of my reporting, for example, I don't really need to
                          know that Joe Blow from 123 St. in Regina, Saskatchewan looked at
                          page whatever in the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada site. General
                          geographical information is useful, but there's no need to get down
                          to that level of detail. I know I'm coming from a different
                          environment than e-commerce and e-business, but I think the
                          same "only what you need, when you need it, for as long as you need
                          it" mentioned in the Protect Your Customers' Privacy Ethically, Not
                          Legally post
                          (http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/webanalytics/message/8480) is
                          valid for all levels of web analytics. I totally agree with the "just
                          because you can, doesn't mean you should" statement.

                          Privacy concerns are the biggest reason the Canadian federal
                          government doesn't allow JavaScript tagging of its websites or ASP
                          metrics reporting (to my knowledge). We have strict privacy
                          guidelines we have to follow in order to maintain the public trust.
                          Treasury Board (the government's policy body) has a policy on using
                          cookies that specifies that sites can use cookies, but using
                          persistent cookies requires the "opt-in" thing that is mentioned in
                          the petition. As a result, few government departments use persistent
                          cookies.

                          I can't help but wonder if that's what will happen if this petition
                          is passed through ... will company executives/lawyers decide that web
                          analytics are not worth the hassle? Will we regress to being
                          completely clueless about what's happening on our sites?

                          Great discussion. Thanks!


                          --- In webanalytics@yahoogroups.com, "Eric Peterson"
                          <eric.peterson@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > Folks,
                          >
                          > Recently Jim Newsome started a thread about web analytics and data
                          > privacy (see
                          > http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/webanalytics/message/8078) -- an
                          > excellent conversation and one of the more active threads in
                          > the group recently.
                          >
                          > Also, prophetic it turns out.
                          >
                          > Yesterday by the Center for Digital Democracy and the US Public
                          > Interest Research Group petitioned the Federal Trade Commission
                          (FTC)
                          > to stop Microsoft from developing technology for its AdCenter online
                          > advertising platform. Unfortunately, the petition is ripe with
                          > language that specifically and directly threatens the web analytics
                          > industry.
                          >
                          > From the petition:
                          >
                          > "The FTC must require notice of all information collected, and full
                          > disclosure of how that data will be used. The commission should ask
                          > Congress to pass federal legislation requiring affirmative consent
                          for
                          > all data used--which must be regularly updated and re-approved by
                          > users. An all-embracing opt-in should be the minimum standard. All
                          > data collection and e-commerce marketing techniques must be
                          unbundled,
                          > disclosed, and given affirmative consent by users."
                          >
                          > Rather than hash out all the details and my thoughts again here in
                          the
                          > group, please if you're interested have a read on the blog post I
                          just
                          > published on the subject:
                          >
                          > http://www.webanalyticsdemystified.com/weblog/2006/11/ftc-is-being-
                          asked-to-investigate.html
                          >
                          > In the post I call on the WAA to ** get organized on this issue
                          right
                          > away ** and not wait to see how this plays out in Washington and in
                          > the technology marketplace.
                          >
                          > Perhaps the FTC will ignore the petition and see it as harmful to an
                          > entire ecosystem of technology platforms and hundreds of millions of
                          > dollars of technology investment. Perhaps not.
                          >
                          > I welcome your thoughts either here or in my weblog.
                          >
                          > Eric T. Peterson
                          > Author, Moderator, Visual Sciences Employee
                          > http://www.webanalyticsdemystified.com/weblog
                          >
                        Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.