Another Web coalition featuring Google, AOL, Yahoo — and many other Internet players — has gathered to fight proposed New York state legislation that would curtail targeted advertising and data collection.
The WSJ has a brief summary, but these two quotes summarize even more efficiently why the Web biggies have a tough case to make: Americans are all for free enterprise, but they’re also against big government, business, or anyone else snooping on them — whether or not that’s what’s really happening:
“[The bill] is unnecessary, most likely unconstitutional, and would have profound implications for the future of Internet advertising and the availability of free content on the Internet,” wrote Jim Halpert, general counsel for the State Privacy and Security Coalition, in a letter to Assemblyman Richard Brodsky, the Westchester County Democrat sponsoring the bill.
Mr. Brodsky dismissed the letter. “These guys want the unadulterated right to invade the privacy of the citizens of this state and we’re not going to let them do that,” he said. “This is why we have governments, not just corporations.”
Side note: Beyond the frisson of seeing Google, AOL and Yahoo team together (sound familiar?), this grouping is a bit interesting, since Google has been trying to distance itself from behavioural targeting — the bill’s chief bugaboo — while rivals Yahoo and AOL have been much more open about using the strategy. So Google may be more interested in behavioural targeting than they’ve let on. Or more likley, they’re just worried about an overly broad bill cutting into their existing business
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