Privacy Groups Urge Congress to Toughen Up on Online Ads

Ten privacy groups urged Congress on Tuesday to take greater steps to limit advertising that tracks consumers’ behavior online.

The coalition, which included the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Consumers Union and Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, singled out behavioral advertising, in which Internet users are tracked, analyzed and served ads based on the information gleaned from their movements, in its recommendations. Doing something about the practice has become more urgent as consumers go online for increasingly sensitive transactions, members of the group said on a call with reporters.

“We want consumers to be able to take advantage of all of the new technologies without the technologies taking advantage of the consumers. Right now, that balance is not there,” Pam Dixon, executive director of the World Privacy Forum, said.

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