The FTC and Web Analytics

FTC Round Table on Internet Privacy

I received an email from Scott Jangro at today highlighting that the FTC was holding a round table on cookies and other privacy concerns surrounding the modern internet.

From Scott’s perspective, he mentions it first and foremost because of potential regulations that come out of these meetings that may affect third party sales and lead generation tracking.  Scott, after all, writes primarily about affiliate marketing.

To the analytics community, there should be an equal amount of concern, however.  We rely very heavily on tracking data to do our day to day business.  Any regulation that changes what information we can track could potentially be damaging.

Does the FTC Hate Web Analytics?

Privacy, Web Analytics and the FTC
Privacy, Web Analytics and the FTC

Initially, I’d have to argue no.  I think their main concern is with personally identifiable data.  Behavioral targeting of advertising, etc.  I think the real danger to the analytics community is the classic government over-reactions that tend to make them throw the baby out with the bathwater.

While they are going about the business of protecting the general public, they may inadvertently create scenarios where we can’t track critical data.  And if we’re using that data properly, it means we’re utilizing it create a better web experience for our visitors.

I’ll keep an eye on this, as will the affiliate and other advertising communities.  There could be impactful decisions in the short term, and we need to be paying attention.


About kevin

I work as an internet marketing manager in domestic (US) manufacturing, and blog about B2B web lead generation, CRMs, web analytics, and a little bit about affiliate marketing. I also am an avid Kayak Fisherman.