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FTC Endorses Self-Regulation Proposal from Internet Advertisers

The Federal Trade Commission voted 4-1 to endorse a proposal for self-regulation from the National Advertising Initiative (NAI). The NAI is an industry organization representing over 90% of the firms which engage in Online Preference Marketing (OPM). OPM utilizes the collection of information about the habits of web surfers through the use of "cookies" and similar technologies. These technologies allow firms to target marketing campaigns to consumers based on their web surfing.

Jodie Bernstein, Director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection, stated that the Commission's view is that, "[I]ndustry self-regulation must play a central part in protecting consumer online privacy." Ms. Bernstein also stated that there is a need for legislation to ensure that all advertisers and web sites comply with the protections discussed in the NAI's Principles.

CRE commends the cooperative efforts of the FTC and NAI in protecting online consumer privacy.