- by Wendy Davis @wendyndavis, Yesterday
The ad industry is weighing in against a new privacy proposal in Texas that would require companies to obtain consumers' opt-in consent before drawing on data about them, including information used for ad targeting.
The Texas Privacy Protection Act (HB 4390), introduced last month, would apply to information collected electronically that can be linked to individual users. The measure is so sweeping that as currently drafted, it wouldn't only require companies to obtain opt-in consent before using data to target ads, but would also require consumers' explicit consent to use data for fraud prevention and internal operations, according to ANA Executive Vice President Dan Jaffe.
"We have real problems with this legislation," Jaffe says. "The opt-in provisions are exceptionally broad in this bill."
The Association of National Advertisers, Interactive Advertising Bureau, American Advertising Federation. American Association of Advertising Agencies, and Network Advertising Initiative add in a letter to Texas lawmakers that passage of the bill will result in a decline in targeted advertising.
“Without the ability to effectively advertise online due to opt-in consent barriers, revenues will be impacted and companies that rely on such revenue may no longer be able to support free and low cost content and services that Texans desire, such as online newspapers, social networking sites, mobile applications, email, and phone services,” the ad industry writes in a letter sent last week. “As a result, companies will be forced to charge consumers higher prices or create pay-walls that will disproportionately impact less affluent Texans.”
Some ad tech firms, like Cuebiq, say they don’t share location data with their clients and that there would be no reason for advertisers to pinpoint individual users with their mobile ad IDs. But privacy advocates are suspicious of these claims because correlating data could be useful to advertisers in targeting potential customers.
The ad industry also says an opt-in consent system “fails consumers” by “forcing them to read thousands of pages of terms and conditions and endlessly click 'I Accept.'”
The groups add that the constant requests for consent will frustrate consumers and also “desensitize” them, which will reduce “their sense of control over their privacy.”
Texas lawmakers are also considering a separate bill, the Texas Consumer Privacy Act (HB 4518), which is similar to the new California privacy law. The Texas Consumer Privacy Act would give consumers the right to know what information about them is held by businesses, opt out of the sale of that information, and require companies to delete the data.