The Federal Trade Commission is considering allowing consumers to opt-out of being followed online as they can currently opt-out of being hassled by tele-marketers.
To me, this is a good idea.
The people who sign up for do-not-track will still receive ads online, the ads just won’t be targeted to their past behavior.
The chairman of the FTC, Jon Leibowitz, would like to take it even further, making it an opt-in option for behavioral targeting rather than opt-out.
I too, think that would be even better.
Why am I so against behavioral targeting? Because while online ad companies say that behavioral targeting is “anonymous,” I don’t believe them.
What I do online is my business, not the business of an online ad company. A beer brand knows where to find me online without behavioral targeting. As does a car brand.
I always thought the job of advertising was to make the advertising compelling enough to get consumers to stalk brands. Not for brands to stalk us.
And here we wonder why the ad business has been rated among the least trustworthy, barely beating out lobbyists and car salesman.