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Expected Flood Of Opinion Ends With A Trickle: Proposed FTC Behavioral Rules Comment Period Closes

This story was written by David Kaplan.

Though the Federal Trade Commission's public comment section listed only 22 separate views on the regulators proposed rules governing behavioral targeting. Predictably, businesses asked the FTC to allow industry to self-police, while privacy advocates sought tighter control and greater clarity on the part of sites that collect user data for ad targeting.

By Friday afternoon, the FTC was still updating its comment site. In separate letters submitted to FTC on Friday afternoon, the Online Publishers Association and the Magazine Publishers of America both pleaded with federal regulators to avoid "overbroad restrictions."

-- With behavioral ads under greater assault by regulators and legislators, internet companies are aligning to fight back. As we mentioned earlier, Google (NSDQ: GOOG), Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO), AOL (NYSE: TWX), Facebook, Comcast (NSDQ: CMCSA) and others have banded together to fight a proposed bill in the New York State Legislature that would curtail their ability to gather user data. 

Apart from that effort, another industry union, the Network Advertising Initiative, which is comprised of AOL Platform-A units and Tacoda, Yahoo's BlueLithium, and Google's DoubleClick, have published a collective answer to the FTC's proposed regs. The group believes that a method allow users to "opt-out" of sites' tools that use ad targeting is just far enough. But privacy advocates contend that giving the users the less automatic choice of "opting-in" would promise advertises more willing subjects and protect those who weren't aware their information was being collected.

By David Kaplan

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