The Center for Digital Democracy, the federation of state Public Interest Research Groups (PIRGs), and the World Privacy Forum have all submitted a complaint about Google, Microsoft, YAHOO! and other companies dealing with online ads to the Federal Trade Commission.
The first part of the 32-page letter reads, “Recent developments in online profiling and behavioral targeting . . . have all contributed to what is now standard practice online. A vast ecosystem of online advertising and data auctions and exchanges, demand- and supply-side platforms, and the increasing use of third-party data providers that bring offline information to Internet profiling and targeting, operates without the awareness or consent of users.”
The complaint continues with, “This massive and stealth data collection apparatus threatens user privacy. It also robs individual users of the ability to reap the financial benefits of their own data – while publishers, ad exchangers and information brokers (so-called ‘ad optimizers’) profitably cash in on this information.”