Today, the Federal Trade Commission released voluntary guidelines for Internet advertising and behavioral targeting. The guidelines set out four principles: "1) transparency and consumer control; 2) reasonable security and limited data retention for consumer data; 3) affirmative express consent for material retroactive changes to privacy promises; and 4) affirmative express consent to (or prohibition against) use of sensitive data." There is no means to enforce the guidelines, and Commissioners Jon Leibowitz and warned that they are insufficient to ensure consumers' privacy. Commissioner Harbour cautioned that the guidelines "focus too narrowly" and urged rulemakers to "take a more comprehensive approach to privacy." The guidelines are in part a response to EPIC's 2007 Complaint regarding the Google-Doubleclick merger raising concerns about the profiling of Internet users and the need to establish clear privacy safeguards as a condition of the merger. For more information, see EPIC's Complaint regarding the Google/DoubleClick merger and page Privacy? Proposed Google/DoubleClick Deal.
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