IAB Response to Congressman Rick Boucher’s Discussion Draft

Letter to IAB Members on May 6, 2010

The release of Congressman Rick Boucher’s discussion draft of his privacy legislation has already engendered a lot of discussion—in the press, in the industry at large and in the nation’s capital. Please go here where you can review our initial analysis of Rep. Boucher’s draft—prepared by Venable LLP, our outside policy counsel in Washington, D.C.

You will be hearing much more from the IAB in days—and weeks—to come, but our interpretation of the draft’s provisions relating to websites and third-party services is that they present a fundamental challenge to our industry’s current business models. The draft itself is a confusing document that takes a significantly different approach than the FTC’s proposal from last February and what the IAB and other members of the self-regulatory coalition have been working to implement throughout the interactive advertising industry.
 
The process until legislation is formally introduced will offer ample time for discussion and, we hope, negotiation. Still, our intention is to communicate clearly from the outset that legislation should not be overly prescriptive, but rather allow industry the flexibility to innovate and discover new and more effective ways of meeting consumers’ privacy expectations.

The IAB plans to work proactively with Congressman Boucher and his staff as they move toward the introduction of a bill. We stand ready to help Congress understand how our industry operates. We will also be cooperating closely with you, our 460 member companies, as well as other key stakeholders across the marketing and advertising ecosystem to ensure that the basic functionality of the Internet is not destroyed by overzealous lawmakers.
 
The challenge is clear, and so must be our industry’s response.
 
If you would like to review the draft legislation, please read it here.
Sincerely yours,
 
Mike Zaneis
VP, Public Policy
IAB