Interesting articles in Ad Age and MediaWeek today calling attention to potential privacy & regulatory issues surrounding Behavioral Targeting (BT).
The specter of regulation has loomed since the NebuAd debacle, but has seemed somewhat less menacing as Washington has focused on a stream of crises beginning with the financial meltdown in late 2008.
That now seems to be changing. In addition to these articles and others, privacy/regulation was recently both a major theme in IAB CEO Randall Rothenberg’s remarks to the IAB’s 2010 Leadership Meeting and the subject of the hilarious Onion article mentioned in the Ad Age piece. Quite a range of coverage.
I think there is legitimate discussion to be had about both consumer privacy and the related issue of data rights/ownership in the value chain. These are both critical issues and the industry has only just begun to scratch the surface on both. So it will be interesting to see if the privacy angle in particular gains steam once again in Washington now that the Health Care battle seems nearly over and the dust has settled somewhat from the “Great Recession”.
Something tells me the embers of the NebuAd conflagration are still good and hot, just awaiting a little oxygen.