Scratch a media conglomerate–old or new–and you reveal a political agenda that is all about the aggrandizement of power–consumer and data privacy be damned. Here’s are excerpts from a Kate Kaye story on the roll-out of the state-based coalition designed to protect the interests of the online advertising industry.
“From California to Utah to New York, state legislators regularly propose laws with major implications for the online ad industry. A once-loose collective of companies including Google, Yahoo, AOL and eBay finally incorporated officially this year after four years of collaborating to influence state policy.
The most recent target of the State Privacy and Security Coalition’s efforts is New York Assemblyman Richard Brodsky, sponsor of a bill preventing third parties from using sensitive personally identifiable information for behavioral ad targeting.
The coalition doesn’t like it. A missive sent to the legislator April 7 by the coalition’s lead counsel calls the bill “unnecessary,” and “most likely unconstitutional.”…Jim Halpert, partner in the communications, e-commerce and privacy practice at law firm DLA Piper, penned that letter. As head counsel for the coalition, he also recently facilitated its incorporation.
“There’s much more state activity than federal activity,” said Halpert. Not only does that create more laws or proposed laws to deal with; the state process moves much faster.
According to Halpert, the coalition also includes Verizon, AT&T, Comcast, and organizations such as the Internet Alliance and tech trade association AeA, formerly the American Electronics Association. With Halpert at the helm, coalition members conduct weekly phone calls, and sometimes meet in-person with other members or with state lawmakers to influence legislation involving online privacy and data security, Internet advertising, online child safety, content liability, spam, spyware, and taxation…
“We see the coalition’s role as helping state legislatures understand the technology policy area. I think we all recognize the technology environment can be complicated,” said Adam Kovacevich, Google’s senior manager, global communications and public affairs. Google Director of State Public Policy John Burchett is the firm’s primary liaison to the coalition.”
source: Google, AOL and others make state policy coalition official. Kate Kaye. clickz.com. April 14, 2008