Time Warner Cable Media Sales Exec Tells Congress a ‘Do Not Track’ Online Behavior Regulation Could Hurt ‘Vibrancy’ of the Internet

Dec 3, 2010  •  Post A Comment

Joan Gillman, executive vice president of media sales for Time Warner Cable, told a congressional subcommittee that if the government implements any kind of "do not track" regulation preventing companies from tracking user behavior on theWweb, it could hurt the vibrancy of the Internet, Multichannel News reports

According to the article, "Asked what the economic impact of do-not-track would be on her company, Gillman said she did not have specifics, and broadened the answer beyond economics. ‘The risk one runs is that there are unintended consequences of a do-not-track policy in that it prevents companies like ours from innovating.’ "

Furthermore, according to the article, "What should be explored, she said, were the consequences on smaller content providers and service providers, ‘the small businesses in and around this ecosystem.’ She said that, ‘The smaller the Web site, the smaller the audience,’ the more difficult it is to rely on contextual advertising. Those would be the ads directly related to the ones on a site being visited."

Countering Gillman’s testimony, the article says, was Eben Moglen, Columbia law professor and Software Freedom Law Center founder, the story explains: "I think the attempt to connect the advertising business model to the importance of vibrant content on the Net or life-changing possibilities of expansion of access to underserved populations is poppycock," said Moglen, drawing some laughter from the hearing audience. He said that the purpose of advertisers was to "collect information concerning the capabilities of the potential buyer and to affect that buyer’s behavior. That is also the definition of what intelligence services do."

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