A Venture Funder Calls for Opposition to Privacy Rules Online–Cites the Need to Collect Financial, Pharma, and Youth Data

Lightspeed Venture Partners is a leading global venture capital firm that manages over $2 billion of capital commitments.” Jeremey Liew is a managing director of the fund, with “a particular interest in social media, commerce, gaming and methods for increasing monetization.” Lightspeed is a backer of many high tech concerns, including online ad and data collection/targeting companies.   Writing in the company’s blog, Mr. Liew cites the recent call for online privacy safeguards.  He then writes [our emphasis]:


 “While it is always hard to argue against privacy, the impact of this level of restriction would be enormous for companies relying on online advertising. Financial services and pharma/health are two of the leading categories for online advertising; the youth demographic is highly attractive to many advertisers, and limiting behavioral targeting to one day without an opt in severely restricts the usefulness of the data.


I’ve spoken to a number of people at venture backed ad networks, and it is clear to me that more needs to be done to organize feedback to the FTC and congress about the proposed rule changes and legislation.”


I think Mr. Liew has helped underscore our concern.  Sensitive data involving a person’s finances, health, and their children, require serious consumer safeguards.


Author: jeff

Jeff Chester is executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy. A former journalist and filmmaker, Jeff's book on U.S. electronic media politics, entitled "Digital Destiny: New Media and the Future of Democracy" was published by The New Press in January 2007. He is now working on a new book about interactive advertising and the public interest.

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