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Consumer Watchdog Asks FTC To Probe Online Advertising Firms’ Deceptive Practices; Stanford Security Lab Study Demonstrates Self-Regulation Doesn’t Work, Group Says

WASHINGTON July 14, 2011

The companies – members of the self-regulatory Network Advertising Initiative (NAI) — violate their stated policy of not tracking consumers who opt out of receiving ads based on their online activity, according to a new study by the Stanford Security Lab.

In a letter to FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz Consumer Watchdog called on the Commission to use its powers under Section Five of the Federal Commission Act to bring action against the ad companies.

John M. Simpson

"The industry’s opt-out system is bogus," said Simpson. "We need a simple Do Not Track mechanism required by law and governed by regulations enforced by the FTC."

Jonathan Mayer Jovanni Hernandez Akshay Jagadeesh Stanford

Eight companies violated their privacy policy statements, the researchers found. They promised not to track, but left tracking cookies in place. Those companies are 24/7 Real Media, Adconion, AudienceScience, Netmining, Undertone, Vibrant Media, Wall Street on Demand and TARGUSinfo Advisor.

Santa Monica, CA Washington, D.C.

SOURCE Consumer Watchdog

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