US to offer opt out on targeted advertising

US consumers are to be given more control over how their internet browsing habits are used for targeted marketing.

The American Association of Advertising Agencies and the American Advertising Federation, which represent 5000 advertisers, has agreed to give surfers the option to block companies from sending them advertising messages based on their previous online search habits.

According to Bloomberg the recommendations are born from guidelines last year by the
U.S. Federal Trade Commission, which conducted some research into how companies target people and whether these intrude on privacy rights.

“The goal of the program is to make Internet advertising more transparent and allow consumers to have a choice about the ads they receive,” said Stuart Ingis, a partner at Venable LLP in Washington, which is advising the groups.

 “This program is to make sure that is preserved and can be expanded responsibly.”

The groups said they will promote widespread adoption of the plan by businesses through a national education campaign. The policy will see an icon being displayed near online ads where browsing habits are collected.

Clicking on the button will allow people to get information about the practices and choose whether they want to opt in and out. These things are never opt in.

Coca-Cola, Microsoft, McCann and American Airlines are some of the heavyweights expected to lend support. Philanthropy and  that, yeah?