Behavioral Advertising: The Cryptic Hunter and Gatherer of the Internet

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64 Federal Communications Law Journal 599 (2012), Vol: 64, Issue: 3

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Penn, Joanna
Digital Repository @ Maurer Law
Behavioral Advertising; Internet; Data Collection; Targeting; Information Privacy; Federal Trade Commission; FTC; Consumer Education; Administrative Law; Communications Law; Consumer Protection Law; Internet Law; Legislation
textual work description
In an era where three out of every four Americans have Internet access, the term "surfing" has transformed from riding waves into running the risk of having private information gathered, stored, and disseminated-all without the user's knowledge or permission. This new found online practice, known as "behavioral advertising," is a veritable goldmine for those companies that know the game. But will the FTC or Congress soon make new rules concerning how to play? This Note begins by explaining the differences between behavioral targeting and retargeting and the techniques that the two methods use to collect data. This Note then explores 'the various areas where unbridled behavioral tracking can cause harm, and concludes with a discussion on how to protect Internet users effectively, whether through regulation, or legislation at a federal level, or through increased transparency and communication by retailers to Internet users.