Will 2010 see the beginning of a change in regulations regarding net privacy? It’s hard to tell. The issue has been a matter for dispute for quite some time now, but there have been no significant steps toward dealing with it and the “enemy” is strong: money.
The simple fact is that advertising is what makes free content possible. And, if we look at it from the marketers point of view, we can’t but agree that they have to get something in return. But, looking at it from our common user perspective, we feel a little naked, a little vulnerable knowing that someone out there can use the gathered information to steer us towards choices we may wish we hadn’t.
So far, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission has done little about the matter, choosing to let the practice of online marketing regulate itself. They issued a list of best practices, but didn’t enforce them.
eSecurity Planet reports that privacy groups and advocates are starting to get impatient and are clamoring for the commission to take stand and pass laws that will limit online marketers as to which information they can harvest and how they can use it to target potential customers.
Targeted marketing in areas such as health and finance looks as the most likely to get regulated in 2010.
Things seem to be moving in the right direction, though, as he FTC started gathering information about the ways online marketers collect data, and has organized a series of workshops in which they intend to explore the privacy issues tied to online marketing and have invited everybody to contribute to the discussion and voice their opinion.