It sure sounds that way, given what the Interactive Ad Bureau wrote on the new privacy proposal (our emphasis):
“The green paper is another important step in what has been an inclusive, productive process to develop the Administration’s strategy for increasing consumer online privacy, while balancing the realities of our national economy. It provides vital support for industry self regulation. The Department of Commerce’s recognition that these efforts can be an effective means for increasing transparency around data practices and empowering consumers with a comprehensive, easy-to-use opt-out mechanism is key, given other recent reports. Increasing consumer confidence in the Internet is a common goal. We agree that supporting these industry codes in a timely fashion is critical, and our cross-industry coalition looks forward to working with the Administration to ensure our program is both robust and enforceable.”
The Commerce Department met with our coalition of consumer and privacy groups only once–after we had written to the White House asking for a meeting with officials there.Â There was no formal briefing for the country’s leading consumer and privacy groups prior to the report’s release. Yet we understand Commerce did one for industry. As the Obama White House proceeds with its plans for the forthcoming “multi-stakeholder” deliberations, they must be structured in a manner that ensures significant consumer and privacy participation (which means that groups funded by the online ad industry have to be dealt with in different fashion).