Responding to the Federal Communications Commission’s request for comment on mobile privacy, the Interactive Advertising Bureau said it plans to self-regulate the mobile platform.
Given the constantly changing world of technology, industry self-regulation will better serve consumers than government regulation, the IAB said in written comments submitted to the agency.
“In the right regulatory environment, the mobile marketplace will continue to mature, and adoption will continue to rapidly spread as consumers gain trust in the ecosystem,” wrote Michael Zaneis, senior vice president and general counsel for the IAB. “Enforceable self-regulation will help ensure that all parties in the ecosystem together will provide consumers with transparency and choice as they embrace smart mobile devices.”
The comments were filed in response to a request by the FCC seeking guidance on issues of mobile privacy.
The industry currently regulates behavioral advertising online, but the principles do not specifically address mobile devices such as smartphones.
The upcoming principles “will provide transparency and consumer control for precise location information, mobile multi-site data, and mobile cross-app data, encompassing all parties in the mobile device ecosystem,” the group wrote.
Given the strength and flexibility of self-regulation, the IAB said it opposed establishing “prescriptive requirements for the form or substances of consumers’ notice and control.” Companies “need to be able to adapt their communications as technology and communications evolve,” the group wrote, and the imposition of a “one size fits all” legal standard across all media channels “could have unintended consequences.”
“Unlike formal regulations, which can quickly become outdated in the face of evolving technologies, a self-regulatory code of conduct can allow industry to respond rapidly to new challenges presented by the evolving Internet ecosystem. . . . By putting the information and choice directly in consumers’ hands, the [self-regulatory system] is able to provide consumers with the ability to opt in or out of collection based on individual services and trusted relationships as opposed to one global device opt-in that diminishes the functionality and consumer experience on the device,” the IAB said.
To read the IAB’s comments to the FCC, click here.
Why it matters: The IAB said it is “nearly complete” with the extension of the self-regulatory principles to the mobile platforms. It remains to be seen, however, whether the FCC will look favorably upon these principles and deem them sufficient to address the concerns and achieving the goals enunciated in its request for comment. The FCC will look for industry adherence to ensure that such goals and objectives are being met.