Lou Mastria

The ad industry's privacy group just may have sounded the death knell for the worldwide Do Not Track initiative. The Digital Advertising Alliance announced it will depart the World Wide Web Consortium's (W3C) Tracking Protection Working Group. That's the broad collective of privacy advocates, technologists, ad industry representatives and lawyers who have struggled over the past two years to define online tracking and determine a standard for a browser-based do-not-track mechanism, to no avail. "If you measure it by progress, it's dead."

Americans place great value on the availability of free Internet content, and appreciate Internet advertising that is tailored to their specific interests, a new poll finds. The survey, commissioned by the Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA), measured attitudes regarding online advertising, with a specific focus on interest-based ads.

Can you have industry self-regulation if one of the biggest players isn't following the guidelines? That's the challenge for online advertising in the face of mounting privacy concerns, and the source is one of the Web's biggest ad sellers: Facebook. The social media giant is running behaviorally targeted ads on its site that don't include the little triangular icons that are the public face of the industry's push to be more transparent about targeting.

It's been a stressful few months for the Digital Advertising Alliance, the consortium of ad trade groups trying to self-regulate around online privacy and the maker of those little triangular ads offering consumers information on tracking. That's because Microsoft continues to plan on releasing the latest version of its Internet Explorer browser with a do-not-track signal turned on as by default. What that means for the entire online ecosystem remains to be seen, particularly as there's yet to be industry consensus on what "do not track" even means. In the meantime, the DAA has recently hired Lou Mastria

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