Today in Social

Matthew Ingram gives the rundown on a band of online data trackers and miners that is putting together a self-regulation program to allay consumer privacy concerns and head off the FTC and U.S. Congress. Eight companies so far, including 33across, BlueKai, eXelate, and Lotame, are working under the auspices of an agency- and ad network-funded group to offer and promote user control of collected data. Like venture capitalist Fred Wilson, I’m concerned that, without industry self-regulation, governments could seriously damage the potential of targeted advertising, whether online or in budding digital media like mobile or television. Efforts like this one are admirable, but they might carry more clout if they came from publishers – who need the ad revenues to survive – rather than marketers. Here’s a plan. Meanwhile, Facebook is staffing up in Washington, D.C.