Is ‘Do Not Track’ Good or Bad for Print?

You’ve probably been hearing a lot about the “Do Not Track” movement recently. While it kicked off a couple of years ago (the Internet equivalent of the “Do Not Mail” program that so raised hackles in the print world), it hadn’t been a top-of-mind issue for many until the White House and the Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA) both issued major announcements that are likely to have far reaching effects for anyone engaged in integrated/online marketing (or even just with a website.)

In February, the Obama Administration published its “blueprint for how to protect privacy in a networked society,” in the report title “Consumer Data Privacy in a Networked World: A Framework for Protecting Privacy and Promoting Innovation in the Global Digital Economy.” The report states that while consumer data privacy protection is strong in the United States, there are two exceptions, including “a clear statement of basic privacy principles that apply to the commercial world, and a sustained commitment of all stakeholders to address consumer data privacy issues as they arise from advances in technologies and business models.” Meaning, of course, data collection and tracking on the Internet.

To address this, the report sets forth a Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights. This Bill of Rights applies to personal data, meaning any data that can be linked to a specific individual. These key rights include:

  1. INDIVIDUAL CONTROL: Consumers have a right to exercise control over what personal data companies collect from them and how they use it.
  2. TRANSPARENCY: Consumers have a right to easily understandable and accessible information about privacy and security practices.
  3. RESPECT FOR CONTEXT: Consumers have a right to expect that companies will collect, use, and disclose personal data in ways that are consistent with the context in which consumers provide the data.
  4. SECURITY: Consumers have a right to secure and responsible handling of personal data.
  5. ACCESS AND ACCURACY: Consumers have a right to access and correct personal data in usable formats, in a manner that is appropriate to the sensitivity of the data and the risk of adverse consequences to consumers if the data is inaccurate.
  6. FOCUSED COLLECTION: Consumers have a right to reasonable limits on the personal data that companies collect and retain.
  7. ACCOUNTABILITY: Consumers have a right to have personal data handled by companies with appropriate measures in place to assure they adhere to the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights.

The report makes it very clear that the Administration intends to convert The Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights into law. In the introductory letter, President Obama calls on organizations that handle personal data, “to begin immediately working with privacy advocates, consumer protection enforcement agencies, and others to implement these principles in enforceable codes of conduct.”

Julie Shaffer is Vice President, Digital Technologies at Printing Industries of America. She heads up the Digital Printing Council (DPC), as well as the Center for Digital Printing Excellence at Printing Industries headquarters in Sewickley, PA. In her position, Julie plays a lead role in developing programs and tools to help members grow their businesses with digital technologies.

Known for her graphic production expertise, Julie has a 20-plus year background in pre-media and print. She is often called upon for training, presentations and to provide on-site consulting throughout the industry on diverse range of topics, including PDF, color management, digital printing, social media and Web-to-print implementation. Julie is co-author of several books, including "The PDF Print Production Guide" (1st, 2nd and 3rd edition), the "Web-to-Print Primer" and the forthcoming "Field Guide to Social Media."

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