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Link: The Dangerously Irresponsible IAB – Bob Hoffman

Bob Hoffman (emphasis my own):

The advertising industry was successful for many decades finding appropriate targets for advertisers without spying on the public. But the online ad industry claims that tracking is an essential part of their business model. This is the equivalent of saying that online advertising is such a weak force that the only way the industry can survive is if it is allowed to spy on the public.

As I said at the beginning of this piece, advertising is necessary for the continued operation of the free web as we know it. But tracking is not. The problem is not advertising. The problem is tracking.

The IAB and other trade groups have been complicit in opposing every serious attempt to reign in the excesses of the adtech industry. Instead they have put forward frivolous proposals like the laughable and cynically named “Privacy for America” program that protects the industry’s interests but undermines serious attempts to protect consumer privacy.

Mr. Cohen’s remarks were ignorant and irresponsible. His assertion that people opposed to the dangerous practices of the online ad industry are “extremists” and want to “eliminate” the advertising industry are absurd. Sadly, this is not surprising coming from the IAB. The IAB has the disgraceful ceo it deserves.