The Center for
Digital Democracy has released a study underscoring its concerns about online
study concludes that multicultural marketing is flattering to the degree
that it shows that Hispanic, Africanâ€American and Asian-ÂAmerican online
consumers are an economic force to be reckoned with and courted. But it points
out that targeted marketing can also be more successful at delivering messages
that, if past is prologue, have not always benefitted that audience, whether it
is for fast food or "dodgy" lending schemes.
"Multicultural digital consumers must be on guard and
protect their own interests against the
digital advertising onslaught aimed squarely at them, by filtering out the
beneficial from the harmful," the study concludes.
CDD, which has been a leading voice for more government
attention to online marketing and targeting, has been pushing for racial and
ethnic info to be classified as sensitive data subject to stronger government
"With rare exceptions, policymakers and the FTC have
failed to address how race is being used in the Big Data era to target
consumers for financial, health and other services," CDD executive director
Jeff Chester told B&C.
Chester says the study is the first of a series of studies
it plans to release this year to try and help drive debate about online
consumer protection, though Chester has long suggested there should be no
debate about the need for stronger protections.