Browsing online
Browsing online - 
Listen To The Story


Steve Chiotakis: We're set to hear this morning from the Federal Trade Commission and their efforts to reign in, or at least come out with guidelines for online marketing. The commission has been targeting growing concerns about consumer privacy. Marketplace's Sam Eaton reports.

Sam Eaton: Online marketing has grown into more than a $20 billion a year industry. But the regulations governing what that industry does with all the personal information it collects from Web browsers are virtually nonexistent. Today's voluntary guidelines are the Federal Trade Commission's attempt to catch up.

But Jeffrey Chester with the consumer advocacy group Center for Digital Democracy says industry self-regulation won't work.

Jeffrey Chester: You cannot trust the industry whose job, after all, it is to increase revenues from online advertising to do a job protecting and policing our privacy.

Chester says look no further than the crisis on Wall Street.

The online advertising industry disagrees. It says self regulation both protects consumers and allows marketers to provide relevant advertising. Something that's increasingly important to keep companies in business during a recession.

I'm Sam Eaton for Marketplace.