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FTC has a long history of alignment with industry self-regulation

WASHINGTON, DC (November 22, 2022) The Network Advertising Initiative (NAI), an organization representing more than 100 ad-tech companies committed to privacy, trust and accountability as core values for the ad-tech industry, today called on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to integrate self-regulation in the digital advertising industry into any rules created by the agency’s ongoing regulatory process around privacy. The comments were included in the NAI’s letter on the FTC’s Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) on “commercial surveillance and lax data security practices.”

“As an alternative to an overly-expansive rulemaking process, the FTC should empower and promote self-regulatory organizations and standards that can amplify the objectives of the Commission,” said Leigh Freund, NAI President & CEO.

NAI members are required to adhere to its privacy-protective Code of Conduct and compliance is promoted by a strong accountability program. NAI attorneys subject each member to a comprehensive annual review of their business and data collection and use practices. The NAI believes the FTC can enhance consumer privacy and data protection by promoting self-regulation, such as through the NAI Code of Conduct, in collaboration with federal regulators.

In addition to advocating for strong industry self-regulation that complements FTC enforcement, the NAI’s letter calls on the FTC to:

  • Maximize competition across the digital advertising ecosystem by focusing more precisely on the harmful uses of data, and the implementation of data stewardship requirements across all of industry, first-party and third-party alike, rather than seeking to limit data sharing with service providers and third parties for advertising and marketing.
  • Bolster the role of transparency and consumer control through clear guidance, rather than denouncing this framework as ineffective and obsolete, while seeking to establish broad data collection and use restrictions.

“While we encourage the Commission to avoid a long and uncertain regulatory process, we believe there is a lot they can do to enhance consumer privacy and data security,” said Freund. “At the same time, Congress should enact a national privacy law that bans abusive uses of data and allows for innovative uses of data for advertising and the social good.”

Elizabeth Ryba

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