Legislation that would create privacy regulations for online advertising could cause consumers to get fewer free services and isn’t necessary because privacy advocates have shown no harm from data collection, the co-author of a study on online advertising said.
Online services have been tracking consumer behavior for a decade without creating problems for consumers, said Paul Rubin, a fellow at the Technology Policy Institute (TPI), a free-market think tank, and an economics and law professor at Emory University.
Read more on NetworkWorld.
Report: In Defense of Data: Information and the Costs of Privacy [pdf]. Technology Policy Institute, May 2009. The report states, in part:
Privacy advocates suggest privacy is a “free lunch.” Privacy advocates argue that online practices violate individuals’ rights and therefore should be curtailed. Innovations, such as the development of search engines or, more recently, the possibility that Internet Service Providers might use deep packet inspection as an online-advertising tool, have led to increased apprehension. However, more privacy implies less information available for producing benefits for consumers. Privacy advocates have provided little detail on the benefits of more privacy and have typically ignored the costs or tradeoffs associated with increasing privacy (i.e., reducing information). Their analysis suggests they believe that privacy is a “free lunch” consumers can obtain more of without giving up anything else.