FTC crack down on online consumer privacy infringements is to be welcomed

The mounting pressure from the Federal Government and the FTC to crack down on organizations that infringe consumer web privacy will undoubtedly bring new guidelines or legislation very soon. This could spell a difficult time ahead for many businesses whose core business is online consumer engagement. But it shouldn’t, says Christopher Petix, President of Clash-Media US.

The FTC is right to take a thorough look at the practices of online ad companies – because there are far too many businesses operating outside of acceptable parameters. The lead generation industry has always been faced with these ‘challenges’, and it is those that have transparent and responsible processes in place that continue through them unfazed.

The issue of consumer opt-in is at the center of these FTC concerns – when should a consumer be made aware that they are being tracked, and how strictly should they be warned that they are being signed up for offers or third party contact?

These regulations should be strict. The issue of privacy is central to everyone’s individual rights, which includes when they are surfing the web. There is, however, an additional – and more selfish – reason for these measures to be strictly interpreted: data quality.

Organizations need to engage with interested consumers online. To qualify that anyone on the Internet is ‘interested’, there must be a clearly visible opt-in process. If the consumer refuses that opt-in process, not only would any further activity be an invasion of privacy, but it would be a waste of time for the advertiser – the consumer isn’t interested, so won’t make a purchase as a customer.

Marketers need to work from high quality information about potential customers. They also need information about the consumer in order to personalize any further contact. This approach cannot be fulfilled if there are stealth opt-ins or unauthorized interactions in order to get basic information.

If you would be interested in speaking with Christopher Petix or would like further information on this topic please do let me know, as I'd be more than happy to help. You can email me at lsambells@iba-international.com or call me on +44 (0) 1780 721 433.

I look forward to hearing from you

Kind regards,


Louise Sambells
PR for Clash Media
T: +44 (0) 1780 721433

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