Online-Advertising Hearing July 9

Senate Commerce Committee rescheduled hearing on implications of online advertising to July 9.

The Senate Commerce Committee rescheduled its hearing on the implications of online advertising to July 9.

It had been slated for June 18, but it was delayed due to problems lining up witnesses due to scheduling conflicts, according to a committee source.

The committee is concerned about the privacy implications of companies collecting data from online users to build preference profiles that online marketers use to target their advertising.

The committee is considering whether the Federal Trade Commission or Federal Communications Commission should adopt new rules to "protect consumers from unwanted or unnecessary invasions of their privacy" from behavioral marketing.

The online-advertising issue has been heating up in Washington, D.C., driven by concerns about Internet-service providers’ access to data and the merging of search and advertising functions. Just last week, Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wis.), chairman of the Senate Antitrust Subcommittee said the ad partnership of Google and Yahoo would get a thorough going-over by his committee.

Key members of the House Telecommunications & Internet Subcommittee also weighed in with “serious concerns" about reports that Charter Communications planned to track Web-site visits by its Internet customers and share that information with an ad firm, asking it to hold off on those plans, which it has since agreed to do.