Protecting Privacy, Promoting Consumer Rights and Ensuring Corporate Accountability
Perhaps the most powerful - but largely invisible - force shaping our digital media reality is the role of interactive advertising and marketing. Much of our online experience, from websites to search engines to social networks, is being shaped to better serve advertisers. Increasingly, individuals are being electronically "shadowed" online, our actions and behaviors observed, collected, and analyzed so that we can be "micro-targeted." Now a $31 billion a year industry  in the U.S., with expected dramatic growth globally to $106 billion or more by 2016, the goal of interactive marketing is to use the awesome power of new media to deeply engage you in what is being sold: whether it's a car, a vacation, a politician or a belief. An explosion of digital technologies, such as behavioral targeting and retargeting, "immersive" rich media, and virtual reality, is being used to drive the market goals of the largest brand advertisers and many others.
A major infrastructure has emerged to expand and promote the interests of this sector, including online advertising networks, digital marketing specialists, and trade lobbying groups.
The role that online marketing and advertising plays in shaping our new media world, including at the global level, will help determine what kind of society we will create.
- Will online advertising evolve so that everyone's privacy is truly protected?
- Will there be only a few gatekeepers determining what editorial content should be supported in order to better serve the interests of advertising, or will we see a vibrant commercial and non-commercial marketplace for news, information, and other content necessary for a civil society?
- Who will hold the online advertising industry accountable to the public, making its decisions transparent and part of the policy debate?
- Will the more harmful aspects of interactive marketing - such as threats to public health - be effectively addressed?
CDD's project works to keep the public informed and the online ad industry accountable.
The new media can be a boon to fostering healthy behaviors, including access to more information about drugs and lifestyle choices. But marketers also have the power to encourage the consumption of products and drugs that may be harmful to one's health. From investigating the online marketing of unhealthy food and beverages to children and teens to analyzing the threats from digital marketing of prescription and over-the-counter drugs, CDD is working to promote global public health.
(More - Digitalads.org)
Children and adolescents are at the epicenter of a powerful digital marketing system. Whether they are using mobile phones, on social networks, playing games, on the Web, and soon even while viewing TV, they are subjected to a wide range of data collection and advertising practices. From neuromarketing, to “immersive” multimedia, to stealth forms of social media surveillance and behavioral advertising, today’s youth—and their parents—confront a pervasive, non-transparent, and largely unaccountable commercial digital targeting system. Beyond privacy concerns, digital marketing focused on young people raise important public health and consumer protection concerns.
CDD has been at the forefront of efforts to protect the privacy of children and youth online, including leading the campaign that led to the passage of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) in 1998. COPPA became the landmark law that established important privacy safeguards for children under the age of 13. CDD has been working to extend age-appropriate safeguards to adolescents as well, including playing a leading role at the FTC. CDD has also been a leader in exploring and exposing the links between the youth obesity crisis and the online marketing of food and beverage products. Through advocacy, research, and public education, we are working to promote a more positive digital media environment for youth.