AAF Government Report

June 10, 2011

Clark Rector Jr., Executive Vice President – Government Affairs

FCC Report Cites Benefits of Online Ad Targeting

The Federal Communications Commission recently released a report, The Information Need of Communities which recognizes some of the benefits of online behavioral advertising.

The report makes the case that federal regulations designed to ensure that broadcasters serve the public interest are broken and that the agency does not do enough when renewing licenses to make sure that broadcasters cover the local community.

While acknowledging privacy concerns, the report says that policymakers should consider the “positive benefits of ad targeting” as a way of making local journalism more profitable.

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Privacy Stays on Congressional Agendas

The House Commerce, Manufacturing & Trade Subcommittee is scheduled to conduct a hearing on data security matters on June 15.  Rep. Mary Bono Mack, R-Calif., chair of the subcommittee is reportedly working on her own version of a data security bill and may introduce a draft by the time the hearing occurs.  Subcommittee members Reps. Cliff Stearns, R-Fla, (H.R. 1841) Bobby Rush, D-Ill. (H.R. 1707) have already introduced legislation.

Senator Pat Leahy, D-Vt., chairman of the Judiciary Committee has reintroduced the Personal Data Privacy and Security Act (S.1151).  The Senator has also issued a press release and section-by-section summary.

Representative Chaffetz and Senator Wyden have circulated a draft of the Geolocational Privacy and Surveillance Act (GPS Act), which would make it a crime to intercept or disclose an individual's location data and require a warrant for government to obtain that information.

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FCC to Strike Fairness Doctrine

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski has said that the agency will move to formally delete the Fairness Doctrine from the Code of Federal Regulations. The Fairness Doctrine required broadcasters to cover controversial issues of public importance in a manner deemed fair and balanced by the FCC. The rule has not been enforced since the agency concluded in 1987 that it was unconstitutional, but has remained in the federal code.

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