Addressing the concerns of lawmakers, a coalition of advertising industry organizations released a self-regulatory code last Thursday that includes principles governing the collection and use of personal information for behavioral and other online advertising practices. Developed by the American Association of Advertising Agencies, the Association of National Advertisers, the Direct Marketing Association, and the Interactive Advertising Bureau, the principles follow recent congressional hearings on the privacy implications of behavioral advertising practices used by Google and other web-based firms and are intended, in part, to pacify House leaders who are considering regulatory mandates as part of draft legislation that would provide online privacy protections for consumers. Seven principles are at the heart of the self-regulatory code which would take effect at the beginning of 2010. These include: (1) an education principle that would promote public understanding of how behavioral advertising works, (2) a transparency principle that requires “multiple mechanisms for clearly disclosing and informing consumers about data collection and use practices,” (3) a consumer control principle that gives web site users the right to decide whether data is collected or used or transferred to non-affiliates, (4) a data security principle that provides protections for collected data, (5) a material changes principle that requires entities to obtain consent from users before changes in behavioral advertising policies are implemented, (6) a sensitive data principle that requires higher levels of security for medical records and similar sensitive classes of data, and (7) an accountability principle that encourages entities to develop and implement policies that promote compliance with the aforementioned principles. As Federal Trade Commissioner Pamela Jones Harbour congratulated the coalition for responding “to so many of the privacy concerns raised by my colleagues and myself,” an official of the Progress and Freedom Foundation applauded the principles as “a vastly superior approach to imposing preemptive regulations.”