Session Two: Consumer Online Privacy 1997
Consumer Privacy -- Request to Participate, P954807
This is request for Mr. Christopher Evans, CEO of Accipiter, to participate in the FTC Public Workshop on Consumer Information Privacy, Session and Two.
2.3 What are the risks, costs, and benefits of collection, compilation, sale, and use of personal consumer information in this context?
The process that Websites use to collect information and store it on any individual is no more complicated than a credit card tracking an individual's buying habits and then offering incentives programs that reflect those tastes, or a grocery store tracking purchases through a customer card offers coupons. In both cases, increased value and services are being offered to the customer. In the same way, the Internet can enhance the value and service an individuals receives. The most commonly collected information includes frequency of visit, date of last visit, personal preferences. This information is collected at site registration and from information offered by their browser as they travel through a site.
This information allows a site to target both content and advertising more attractively to the individual visiting the site. By tracking and responding to a visitor, the site can serve the most appropriate content, serve the most targeted advertising and deliver advertisers with the most appropriate audience for their message.
Another way databases track visitors are with repeat visits. Without cookies or digital ids, visitors have to remember login ids and passwords each time they return to a site. When a visitor begins to visit 20 or 30 sites each week, the amount of ids and passwords can become overwhelming. When the database can recognize each return visitor, the ease-of-use of the web for the visitor is greatly increased.
Currently there are many movements underway for self regulation on the web. Groups including the Electronic Frontier Foundation (www.eff.org), EPIC (www.epic.org), eTrust (www.etrust.org) and the Internet Society (www.isoc.org) have been working to develop privacy standards for the Internet. The Internet wants to be considered a qualified new medium and will work in the public interest to protect privacy, free expression and promote responsibility for those who want to enter this new media.
Chris Evans is CEO of Accipiter Inc. Accipiter provides solutions that allow site publishers to profile individual visitors and their activity on their sites in a way that is credible to advertisers and that can back up claims about the quality and focus of a site's audience. The system relies on proven database marketing and advertising techniques that have benefited advertisers and content providers in other mediums.