EPIC Awards 2011 Privacy Champion Award to Sophie in’t Veld and Jeff Chester
EPIC has presented the 2011 International Privacy Champion Award to European Parliament Member Sophie in’t Veld and the 2011 Domestic Privacy Champion Award to Jeff Chester, founder and executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy. In’t Veld was recognized for her work as “leading defender of fundamental freedoms,” Chester as a “tireless champion of consumer rights.” Professor Stefano RodotÃ and Justice Michael Kirby have previously received the EPIC International Privacy Champion Award. The 2010 EPIC Domestic Privacy Champion Award went to Beth Givens, founder and director of the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse.
Google just announced plans to “to build its advertising and marketing business in the food and beverage industries,” including “establishing a food-and-beverage team in Chicago to link with advertisers and marketers.” Â The online ad market leader hired a former Frito Lay and beer marketing executive who explained that the company intended to harness the â€œuntapped potential in the digital world for food and beverage advertisers, and Googleâ€™s ability to work with them, based on proprietary analytics that map out consumer behavior.”Â Â The exec–Karen Sauder–said that Google intended to use its clout with online media to generate a deep connection to users, including taking advantage of “some of the new location-based services and mobile technology thatâ€™s really untapped at this point.â€
As our companion site digitalads.org documents, food and beverage companies, along with online ad companies such as Google, Yahoo and Microsoft, are targeting young people with digital ads for products linked to the youth obesity crisis (they are doing this in the U.S. and globally).Â Google should play a leadership role and adopt new safeguards to ensure that no one under 18 is targeted by digital junk food ads–and that it undertakes a thoughtful analysis to address problems raised when targeting vulnerable groups.Â We hope Microsoft, Yahoo and others will also do so.Â We call on Google to embrace a “healthy” digital diet for its food and beverage marketing. This is an issue that will be on the policy radar in 2011.