The Federal Trade Commission today held a policy meeting to discuss potential actions against data collection and sharing by online advertisers. While FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz did not lay out any specific plans, he did express concern for the amount of data being collected and how it could compromise the security of everyone involved.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on Monday convened a summit to explore the privacy concerns associated with online advertising, the latest signal that the federal government is inching toward a more active approach to a largely unregulated industry.
FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz did not lay out specific plans for how the agency might proceed, but expressed alarm at the proliferation of data companies are collecting and sharing, saying the industry is at a “watershed moment in privacy.”
To Leibowitz, part of the issue stems from the plummeting costs of collecting and storing data, a situation that has resulted in Internet firms that are awash in information about their users, which they use to sell more relevant — and higher-priced — ads.
“The computer cost of data collection seems to be approaching zero,” he said. “Companies can store and crunch massive amounts of data relatively cheaply.”