As expected, President Obama has nominated Jon Leibowitz, the Federal Trade Commission’s lone Democrat, as chairman of the agency.
That puts the online advertising industry on notice. Jon has made the failure of online advertisers to protect consumer privacy a personal cause in his prior FTC tenure.
ClickZ: As anticipated, the Obama administration announced Friday Federal Trade Commissioner Jon Leibowitz will be nominated as chairman of the agency. The move could signal a shift at the FTC toward focusing more on online advertising and privacy, both subjects of interest to Leibowitz.
Leibowitz, a Democrat, fixed a critical eye on the digital ad industry as an FTC commissioner. Most recently, he warned “A day of reckoning may be fast approaching” for the online advertising industry. In a statement presented earlier this month along with the commission’s revised behavioural advertising principles, he wrote, “The jury is still out about whether [self-regulation] alone will effectively balance companies’ marketing and data collection practices with consumers’ privacy interests.”
One critic of the FTC’s current approach to Web privacy and the online advertising industry, centre for Digital Democracy executive director Jeff Chester, expects Leibowitz to bring change to the commission. “We expect significant FTC action on financial and health-related consumer issues, including privacy. There will also be a more critical eye cast with mergers,” he told ClickZ News recently.