Senate Hearing Explores Privacy Self Regulation

Consumers Vote by Joining Social Apps in Record Numbers


Washington, D.C. – The Senate Commerce Committee today explored issues of privacy and interest-based advertising on the Internet and in mobile spaces. Senators must evaluate the impact of legislation versus self-regulation’s potential to enable or harm continued success in free social and mobile applications.


Early and incorrect intervention from regulators trying to hit the moving privacy target has the potential to harm the online industry.


More than ever, consumers are flocking to free online services, which are funded by advertising.  This makes it vital that Congress continue to allow websites to serve ads that are relevant to their users’ interests.


Interest-based advertising, when coupled with transparent privacy policies and terms of service, enables funding for free online services that consumers accept.


“Online services are driving tremendous change in diverse areas like education, health care and entertainment and advertising is once again the fuel for innovation,” said Steve DelBianco, executive director or Netchoice. “Regulators would be wise to not choke off that fuel and starve the online innovation engine.”


Recent efforts in the browser market to force do not track standards on consumers do not deliver a viable privacy solution and overturn agreements that consumers and service providers already have in place.


“Rather than bucking current Internet standards, browser designers should encourage consumers the option to turn on do not track at installation or through prompts, ” said Steve DelBianco, executive director of NetChoice. 


NetChoice is an advocacy organization that fights threats to online commerce and promotes policies that protect Internet innovation and communication on a state, federal and international basis. The Washington, DC-based group protects Internet commerce-driven competition and battles rules that hinder consumer choice and hurt small businesses. For more information, see