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Lights Out For ‘Opt-Out Lite’

3/21/2011 12:01 AM Eastern

WASHINGTON — The Federal Trade Commission put behavioral advertisers on notice last week.

For the first time ever, the FTC took action against an online behavioral advertiser. The commission
had alleged that data-analytics firm Chitika, which claims to deliver over 3 billion monthly impressions
over more than 100,000 websites,
had violated prohibitions on unfair and deceptive

According to FTC chairman Jon Leibowitz,
while Chitika offered surfers the ability to opt
out of targeted advertising — something the
FTC has been pushing marketers to do — it
forgot to mention that the opt-out lasted only
10 days.

With the FTC waving that big stick, Chitika
has agreed to adopt an “effective” opt-out
mechanism, Leibowitz said, and destroy any
of the data it collected as a result of its socalled
opt-out-lite policy.