File this under “we aren’t concerned about the public interest when it may affect our bottom line.”Â At yesterday’s Web 2.0 Summit conference, a panel on the future of news included representatives from HuffPo, Google, the NYT and others.Â When a question was asked from the audience about behavioral targeting, here’s what Huffington Post CEO Eric Hippeau said [according to the WSJ]:
“itâ€™s much ado about nothing. â€œIâ€™d much rather see an ad Iâ€™m interested in,â€ he says. Efforts at regulation are made by people who â€œdonâ€™t get it.â€
“The more we know about you, the better we are able to customize our web site to suit your personal preferences and interests… We may also from time to time send you messages about our marketing partnersâ€™ products. To maintain a site that is free of charge and does not require registration, we display advertisements on our web site. We also use the information you give us to help our advertisers target the audience they want to reach…the ads appearing on HuffingtonPost.com are delivered to you by DoubleClick, our Web advertising serving partner. Information about your visit to this site, such as number of times you have viewed an ad (but not your name, address, or other personal information), is used to serve ads to you on this site. And, in the course of serving advertisements to this site, third party advertisers may place or recognize a unique cookie on your browser.”
As we have said, we can both protect privacy and also foster the growth of the online ad market.Â Mr. Hippeau revealed a starkly uninformed–and crass–dimension to the HuffPo’s corporate leadership.