Those of you who don’t regularly spend time hanging out on the Web Analytics Forum (tsk, tsk, there’s a ton of great stuff over there) can be forgiven if you haven’t yet heard of the Center for Digital Democracy, or their formal complaint to the FTC requesting an investigation into “the online marketplace.” You can read all the dirty details by downloading the PDF directly from their site, or you can spend 5 minutes reading the rest of this post, and decide to skip it altogether.
To whet you’re appetite, take a gander at some of their tastier sound-bites [Note: I did not say 'meatier.' Emphasis is mine.]
Consumers entering this new online world are neither informed of nor prepared for these technologies and techniques- including data collection and mining, audience targeting and tracking- that render users all but defenseless before the sophisticate assault of new-media marketing
Collectively, these five areas [note: areas previously noted are: Analytics, Targeting, Segmentation, Mining, and the consolidation of the industry] represent the foundations of an entirely new online environment, one in which engagement gives way to entrapment, in which personalization impinges on privacy. It is an online environment, in short, that threatens to turn the traditional media equation on its head- a media that consumes us.