DMA: ‘Do Not Track Online Act’ Is Unnecessary
Washington, DC, May 9, 2011 — The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) today expressed disappointment with the “Do Not Track Online Act of 2011” introduced by Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV).
The DMA believes that the Self-Regulatory Program for Online Behavioral Advertising, launched by the DMA and four other leading trade associations last year, already provides exactly the type of “simple, straightforward way for people to stop companies from tracking their movements online” that Senator Rockefeller called for upon releasing his bill today. Building on the DMA’s forty-year history of strong and effective self-regulation, the Online Behavioral Advertising program gives consumers an easy-to-use, transparent way to opt out of having data collected and used for online behavioral advertising by clicking on an Advertising Option Icon in the corner of ads across the Internet. The Icon already appears on billions of ads, and consumers can click on it to opt-out, or they can go directly to www.AboutAds.info/choices to exercise their choices.
The Rockefeller bill fails to recognize this strong and effective self-regulatory program, instead calling for a massive government program to provide protections that industry already offers to consumers. “The DMA and its thousands of member companies have spent countless hours and considerable resources developing a system to provide real and meaningful choice to consumers about the way their information is collected and used across the Internet,” said DMA CEO Lawrence Kimmel. “I can say with certainty that business is safeguarding consumers’ privacy without any cost to taxpayers while protecting the economic interests of all Americans.”
DMA’s Executive Vice President of Washington Operations Linda Woolley noted that the bill also interferes with the fundamental relationship between businesses and their customers. “The bill would prohibit a company from doing something as simple as keeping track of the customers who interact with it online, making it impossible to provide the kind of customized user experience that consumers have come to expect.”