May 24, 2024

My Testimony on Behavioral Advertising

I’m testifying this morning at 10:00 AM (Eastern) at a Congressional hearing on “Behavioral Advertising: Industry Practices and Consumers’ Expectations”. It’s a joint hearing of two subcommittees of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce: the Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection; and the Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet .

Witnesses at the hearing are:

  • Jeffrey Chester, Executive Director, Center for Digital Democracy
  • Scott Cleland, President, Precursor LLC
  • Charles D. Curran, Executive Director, Network Advertising Initiative
  • Edward W. Felten, Professor of Computer Science and Public Affairs, Princeton University
  • Christopher M. Kelly, Chief Privacy Officer, Facebook
  • Anne Toth, Vice President of Policy, Head of Privacy, Yahoo! Inc.
  • Nicole Wong, Deputy General Counsel, Google Inc.

I submitted written testimony to the committee.

Look for a live webcast on the committee’s site.


  1. Nice advices, I learn a lots from your post, it help me improve advertising skill very much.
    Thank you.

  2. Wow…this is such a great blog. It’s nice to see some actual dialogue to on between other users as well. I will be a regular visitor.

  3. Behavioral advertising is a difficult field; how far can you go without violating one’s privacy? What about opt-in / opt-out? The government certainly faces a difficult task trying to put a handle on this.


  4. Behavioral advertising is quite an issue right now. The behavioral might come to economic and educational approach. Well I just hope in this testimony we will learn a lot. Just like what happen to the Shaker Heights yearbook, it has been making headlines, and some think that the Shaker Heights community should find something better to do with their time. The Shaker Heights yearbook contained some squiggly lines that when turned upside down look like a phrase using colorful language. Well, when obscenity appears on yearbook covers, creativity strikes as they’ve issued stickers. Can you just imagine w hat kind of behavior is practice by this community?
    More at:

  5. The issue of advertising and privacy seem to go hand-in-hand. What I find troubling with this debate (not Ed’s comments) is that we seem to have the perspective that advertisers have a right to send out advertising and it is the recipient’s responsibility to protect themselves. Because of this “faulty” viewpoint, the “real” interaction of the advertising versus privacy never gets discussed.

    The right to privacy belongs to the recipient. As such companies should be required to only offer Opt-in Options, telemarketing (unless the customer has opted in) should be prohibited, companies should be required, when allowed, to provide their caller ID, and companies should be prohibited from buying/selling/trading customer data with the usual affiliates, partners, and every Tom Dick and Harry who will pay.

    As for behavioral marketing, the topic here, I have no aversion to it.

  6. You might be interested in a column I wrote a few months ago:

    Google’s surveillance is taking us further down the road to hell

    “In the same way that “total personalisation is total surveillance”, complete knowledge of one’s interests entails complete monitoring of one’s actions”

  7. Ed,

    Would love to have you at PrivacyCampDC 6.20.

    More –

    Shaun DAkin