Larry Downes moderating panel with Chris Babel, TRUSTe, Jim Brock, PrivacyChoice, and Chris Kelly, Kelly Investments. Jim: PrivacyChoice’s mission is to make privacy easier: managing online, templates, partners & their APIs. We’re bootstrapped right now. Chris B: TRUSTe: privacy services have evolved into advertising, mobile and cloud spaces. Was non-profit but 2.5 years ago we went for-profit. Chris K: companies with data components of user behavior, concerns with venture model.
Larry: Beacon, and Google Buzz, had unsuccessful launch: unclear purpose (benefits), generating FTC complaints. Is there something about the launch of a product or service that makes it more dangerous or risky than other times? Jim: use of large datasets are prone to claims of changing the rules. If you’re working in areas that weren’t contemplated, that can be confusing, need to think about how to advance sharing practices. Navigating these waters is extraordinarily difficult. Jim: any future change may be viewed as a breach of privacy, unexpected changes (lack of or poor communications, offer choices, does company honor user choices, no accountability). Chris K: FTC, government isn’t in a good position to deal on this level but you don’t want to attract their attention.
Larry: sources of funding? Chris: question is no longer is privacy big enough, now it’s what are the top level matters? Investment community–advertising (every $ spent wants to be more targetted). Jim: process in ad targeting space, global, and how little is online: ad people are demanding more information about who’s receiving their ads.
Larry: about your not taking public investments? Jim: happy accident.
Chris K: Forensics for providing choice or for analytics/response: there are techniques, can take better control over this as web providers to help users. Data flow as arms business: companies that need to control what’s happening on their site or people who want to offer services to consumers. Chris B: targeted ads now more transparent. Balance against malware, cookies and their sources that feels more like security.
Larry: FTC’s interest in these issues, pending legislation in Congress–how does possibility of regulations affect climate for investment? Chris K: uncertainty is a cloud, straightforward means of regulation can move industry forward. But interim finger-pointing, lobbying gaming, are problems. Likes EU model, but we’re moving away from that. Chris B: gov is crowdsourcing communities, online advertising and ad space initiatives are trying to be more self-regulating. Still uncertain, industry groups and co-regulation being brought up and talked about. Chris K: Congress is a giant consumer of these targeting services. Behavioral targeting seems to be settling. Larry: what if a new regulation passes that takes a business model out or forces… Chris K: legislation takes time to effect.
Questions. Did people that saw the TRUSTe seal click on the seal or just go with it? Chris: clicks were low, most people recognize seal as an envelope. What are people choosing? (site can collect, store, use for ad targeting, give to 3rd parties) Chris K: policy should say. We can’t make sure people read the policy. Do I have a right not to have data collected? Ends up as different perspectives from people vs industry, investment (collect data).