74 Marketing Trends found for Regulation / USA

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FCC's Net Neutrality Vote: There May be Trouble Ahead ...

In the words of the Nat King Cole classic ...
"There may be trouble ahead
But while there's music and moonlight and love and romance.
Let's face the music and dance.
Before the fiddlers have fled
Before they ask us to pay the bill and while we still have the chance
Let's face the music and dance."

It's unlikely, of course, that Nat was crooning about the Federal Communication Commission's decision earlier this week to regulate US broadband carriers. On the other hand ...

[Estimated timeframe: Q1 2011 onward]

... it's rare that net neutrality advocates and internet service providers are in agreement about anything!

On this occasion, however, there's zero dissent on either side of the fence that the Federal Communications Commission has created years of legal uncertainty by voting to regulate broadband carriers.

The FCC's oversight rules have yet to be published, although officials have said the order bans wireline providers from blocking or degrading content and from engaging in "unreasonable discrimination."

FCC chairman Julius Genachowski earlier opined that such discrimination could include paid prioritization, or fast-lane treatment for companies that pay extra, but the extent of that restriction isn't yet clear.

The order also bans wireless providers from blocking sites or applications that compete, but fails to impose a similar restriction on wireless carriers.

Even though the substance of the rules offers wireless carriers a great deal of leeway, some ISPs condemned the decision. They argue that the FCC's order could result in years of litigation because it's not clear that the agency is legally empowered to enact neutrality regulations.

Verizon warned in a company blog that the FCC's "assertion of authority without solid statutory underpinnings will yield continued uncertainty for industry, innovators, and investors."

That smackin' sound you hear in the background is the licking of lawyers' lips!


All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: MediaPost.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5454

FTC to Pile-On Web Privacy Pressure in 2011

Whilst acknowledging that the Federal Trade Commission isn't currently calling for privacy legislation, chairman Jon Leibowitz said he hopes a new report will guide lawmakers and policymakers. However, Leibowitz warned he can envision supporting new laws in the future. "From my perspective, and I'm speaking only for myself, a legislative solution will surely be needed if the industry doesn't step up to the plate," he told reporters. He also drew attention to the ineffectuality of existing 'do not track' procedures, citing  ...

[Estimated timeframe: Q4 2010 onward]

... behavioral advertising - or serving ads to web-users based on data collected about them whilst online. The report also also urges that site-owners' privacy policies should be streamlined and simplified.

Companies should make a greater effort to ensure that consumers are making informed decisions about allowing online tracking. States the report: "To be most effective, choices should be clearly and concisely described and offered when - and in a context in which - the consumer is making a decision about his or her data."

Predictably the Interactive Advertising Bureau opposes any attempt to legally enforce privacy. "At this time we believe our self-regulatory program is capable of providing the functional equivalent of do-not-track; thus there is no need for government regulation," counters Mike Zaneis, IAB senior vp and general counsel.

The FTC invites comments on the privacy report from interested parties up to January 31 2011.


All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: MediaPost.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5423

Controversial Web Profiling/Targeting Tool Set to Make US Comeback

Two controversial US web-tracking companies, Kindsight and Phorm, specialists in so-called 'deep packet inspection' [DPI], are set to make a comeback despite a severe mauling in 2008 by by privacy campaigners on both sides of the Atlantic. But this time around the duo are taking a different tack ...

[Estimated timeframe:Q4 2010 onward]

... pitching their services as monetizing route for internet service providers to snatch a share of the lucrative online ad market.

Kindsight and Phorm claim they now protect surfer's privacy, purportedly obtaining prior consent to the recording of personal information. The companies also say they don't use the full power of the technology, and refrain from reading email and analyzing sensitive online activities.

This quasi-restricted use of DPI  would still enable advertisers to selectively display to people ads based on detailed profiles of their web activities.

But why would any rational adult opt-in to be profiled by the likes of Phorm and Kindsight?

They'll be tempted by such offers as a free security service, plus customized web content - for example news articles tailored to users' interests.

The cyber-spooks say they will share the resultant ad revenue with participating ISPs.

Kindsight claims its technology is sufficiently sensitive to detect whether a particular person is online for work or leisure purposes - and target its ads accordingly.

Warns David C Vladeck, director of the Federal Trade Commission's Bureau of Consumer Protection: "If you're trying to engage in one-stop-shopping surveillance on the internet, deep packet inspection would be an awesome tool,"

When such technology is used for targeted ads, the FTC has instructed that broadband providers "should, at a minimum, notify consumers that the ISP was mining the information and obtain clear consumer consent."

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: WSJ.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5406

FCC Aims to Shoehorn Net Neutrality Rules Despite Republican Majority

The future independence of the internet could be assured as early as December 15 according to Capitol Hill insiders. Despite the Republican Party's new majority in Congress, the Federal Communcications Commission is expected to shoehorn-through new regulations [aka 'net neutrality' rules] that will prevent internet service providers from blocking or favoring content online. The FCC's new regulations are expected to ...

[Estimated timeframe: Q4 2010 onward]

... reflect legislation proposed earlier this year by the outgoing Democratic chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Congressman Henry Waxman.

Despited winning support from most of the big telephone and cable companies, the draft legislation is opposed by many Congressional Republicans. Waxman's bill, had it been passed, would have prohibited wireless carriers from blocking websites and prevented phone and cable groups from “unjustly or unreasonably” discriminating against lawful internet traffic.

Although most telecom and cable companies initially resisted the proposals mooted by Waxman and FCC boss Julius Genachowski, the new bill, if passed next month, could be grudgingly welcomed by the larger cable and telecoms firms.

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: FT.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5398

US Set to Dominate New Free Trade Deal with Pacific Rim Nations

There's little doubt as to which nation will be the main beneficiary of the newly-signed Asia-Pacific Free Trade Agreement - the tentacles of which spread from America's west coast to Japan. Brokered - some would say leveraged - by the US, the deal creates a vast and thriving free trade area encompassing existing regional undertakings, while adopting the region's first-ever common growth strategy.

[Estimated timeframe: Q1 2011 onward]

The agreement, sealed by a declaration issued after the two-day summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum highlighted the 21-member economies' eagerness to take concrete steps to bring "reality" to their vision to create a Free-Trade Area within the Asia-Pacific region - hitherto considered little more than a vague concept.

Among the signatories to the accord are the members of ASEAN [Association of Southeast Asian Nations: Brunei Darussalem, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Phiippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam], plus Japan, China and South Korea.  Also involved are nine APEC member nations including Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and the United States.

Grandiloquently titled the Yokohama Vision, the leaders' declaration stipulates the future direction for the 21-year-old forum, which has seen progress in its past trade liberalization efforts and needs to adapt to the changing global economic landscape after the 2008 financial crisis.

However, the vision's effectiveness remains to be seen. The forum, to be chaired by the United States as of next year, operates on the basis of non-binding commitments and failed to set any clear timelines for the envisaged regionwide free trade area.

Nor did it establish any social indices to gauge the progress in growth quality as required by the strategy.

Quoth Japanese prime minister Naoto Kan: "To promote liberalization and facilitation of trade and investment, we will seek to become a close community that promotes deeper economic integration."

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: JapanTimes.co.jp
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5381

From 2012, US Cigarette Packs to Display Grisly Graphics to Deter Smokers

The US Food and Drug Administration and the Department of Health and Human Services intend to compel cigarette companies to display distressing images - including a dead body in a morgue, a dying cancer patient and a rotting oral carcinoma - on all cigarette product packs as of late 2012. The government agencies argue that the shock value will serve as a deterrent to smoking and tobacco use. Others [especially the tobacco lobby] aren't so sure - and some question the legality of enforcing such graphic warning labels on cigarette packs.

[Estimated timeframe: Q4 2012 onward]

Big Tobacco and its supporters, however, are ready for battle.

AdAge quotes David L Hudson, a scholar at the First Amendment Center, which has offices in Washington and Nashville: It's not surprising the FDA would do something like this," Hudson says.

"The FDA has had many First Amendment issues and now they're taking it to another level with these images. First Amendment rights have been flagrantly infringed upon in this area for some time. I think there's been a movement afoot to have people think that there's a tobacco advertising exception to the First Amendment. There isn't, and there shouldn't be. It's not illegal to smoke in this country."

Philip Morris, the nation's largest cigarette manufacturer, issued a statement saying it has already "actively participated in the FDA's rule-making and public comment processes and plans to do the same on this proposal."

But several other tobacco companies are in less compliant mode, among them R J Reynolds and Lorillard, respectively the USA's second and third largest cigarette manufacturers. Both have already filed suit challenging the legality of the larger and more graphic warnings, arguing that they will obscure the brand names.

In a more even-handed appraisal, Penn State University marketing professor Marvin Goldberg opined that the shocking  images are "no silver bullet ... will this wipe out smoking? No, but it will put a dent in it."

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: AdAge.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5379

Obama Hits the (Future) Internet Privacy Gas Pedal

To the dismay of Google, Facebook, Twitter and the entire cyber-subculture of personal data exploitation, the Obama administration is accelerating its approach to policing internet privacy. A report issued by the US Commerce Department [USCD] calls for updated laws and the creation of a new executive oversight position, say unattributed insiders. A report will be published by the USCD in coming weeks, according to these informants - although it's not yet engraved in stone .

[Estimated timeframe: Q4 2010 onward]

Insiders also reveal that the White House has created a special task force that will transmute the Commerce Department's recommendations into policy.

The task force, set up three weeks ago, is led by Cameron Kerry, the USCD's general counsel and brother of former presidential candidate Senator John Kerry, alongside Christopher Schroeder, assistant attorney general at the Department of Justice.

The initiatives mark a turning point in the government's internet policy. Recent administrations have adopted a 'hands-off' approach to online regulation, ostenibly to avoid stifling innovation.

But, say the WSJ's informants, "the increasingly central role of personal information in the Internet economy helped spark government action".


All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: WSJ.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5378

FCC Seeks to Hobble Google's Future Trading in Personal Data

Hand held aloft in pious indignation, Larry and Sergey's money machine insists it has not broked its own sixth commandment: "You can make money without doing evil." And Google really, truly and honestly doesn't know why that nasty Federal Trade Commission and those fun-denying Republican and Democrat politicians want to interfere with its right to exploit the planet's private information for commercial gain.

[Estimated timeframe: Q4 2010 onward]

Prominent in the line of hostile fire is Google's Street View project which ostensibly collects images of residential neighbourhoods for its online mapping service. But - purely by accident of course - Street View has also collected a highly exploitable mass of personal and private information. Without the permission of the data-owners. And the US (and European) body politic doesn't like it!

Federal Communications Commission enforcement bureau chief Michele Ellison says the commission is probing whether Google had violated the law following the search group's admission last month it had collected passwords, emails and other private information from unsuspecting individuals.

The FCC’s announcement follows a controversial decision by the Federal Trade Commission, the top US consumer protection watchdog, to abandon an investigation into the company. The FTC’s move was criticised by privacy advocates, who claimed the decision was premature.

But the FCC’s probe could represent just the tip of the iceberg for Google. One influential Republican lawmaker in the House of Representatives, who will have new power following last week’s congressional elections, has signalled that Republicans will take a closer look at the Street View incident.

Republican Joe Barton, ambitious to become chairman of the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee, said in a recent interview that it was virtually guaranteed that executives from Google would be asked to testify on Capitol Hill. The company, Barton alleges, had made "a conscious effort to collect information. It wasn’t just kind of accidentally gathered.”


All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: FT.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5376

Support from Tech Titans Likely to Ensure Passage of US Web Privacy Bill

With the likes of Microsoft, eBay and Intel lining-up behind an internet privacy bill, its passage through the political rapids of Congress seems almost assured. In a letter to the bill's sponsor Representative Bobby Rush (Democrat, Illinois) dated October 4 and obtained by Online Media Daily,  the tech trio mostly praise the proposal, stating that it "strikes the appropriate balance by providing businesses with the opportunity to enter into a robust self-regulatory choice program."

[Estimated timeframe: Q4 2010 onward]

The bill, unveiled in July, requires websites to obtain users' explicit permission before sharing their personal information with third parties, unless those companies participate in a "universal opt-out" program operated by industry groups and overseen by the Federal Trade Commission.

However, there is one aspect of the proposed legislation that is not to the trio's liking: that the bill would allow consumers to sue companies for violations. That provision, they say, "would create unnecessary litigation costs and uncertainty for businesses, but would not have a corresponding benefit to consumer privacy."

Interactive Advertising Bureau vp of public policy Mike Zaneis is of like mind. Back in July he criticized the draft bill as a "mixed bag." He too criticized the provision that would allow consumers to sue and also questioned why Rep. Rush required companies that don't participate in a self-regulatory program to obtain people's explicit opt-in consent before their information is transferred to third parties.

Rush's bill would apply to the sharing of consumer data that is traditionally considered "personally identifiable", for example names and addresses.

It would also cover shared  information deemed as "anonymous," such as marketing profiles associated with an individual computer's IP address.

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: MediaPost.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5335

Web Privacy: America's IT Titans to Come Clean Over Targeted Ads

Trialling what many privacy campaigners hope will become the online ad industry's long-awaited self-policing system, a group of major marketers - among them AT&T, American Express and Microsoft - have acted to fend-off the increasingly vocal regulation lobby in Washington DC. And finally concede greater control to consumers as to how they are targeted by advertisers. The system, branded Better Advertising, will place an icon (called the "power eye") in the upper-right corner of the ads. Surfers who mouse-over the icon get a summary of all the data that was used to target the ad, plus the choice of opting-out of future targeting by those companies. The system is one of several competing for ...

[Estimated timeframe:Q3 2010 onward]

... endorsement by a coalition of organizations representing the ad industry, as well as the Council of Better Business Bureaus, which has been tasked by the industry and regulators to come up with a system of disclosure for consumers.

Several online ad vendors also have proposals before the coalition, but insiders say Better Advertising, founded by former About.com chief Scott Meyer, is close to winning the contest. Not least because of its endorsement by all the major ad holding companies: WPP Group, Havas, Publicis Groupe, Omnicom Group and Interpublic.

Among those trialling the system this week are Interpublic's audience-buying platform Cadreon, Publicis' Vivaki and WPP's MEC Interaction.

Says the latter's coo John Montgomery: "Ultimately the data belongs to the consumer - we are being allowed to use it. If the consumer is uncomfortable, then they will not allow it to be used that way."

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: AdAge.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5276

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