Lashback Announces Sponsorship of 6th Annual Online Trust Forum October 17-19 in Washington, DC.
Conference Explores Solutions for “Realizing the Promise of Trust” Online
St. Louis, MO September 19, 2011 –LashBack, today announced it is a sponsor of The Online Trust Alliance (OTA)’s 6th Annual Online Trust Forum, “Realizing the Promise of Trust”, to be held at the Washington Plaza Hotel, Washington, DC, October 17-19, during National Cyber Security Awareness month. LashBack enables transparency and compliance in email marketing for advertisers, networks, publishers, agencies, esps, and regulators. LashBack services allow companies to monitor their reputation online and gives them insight into how their brand is being used in commercial email. Companies who use LashBack build consumer trust.
“The Online Trust Forum is all about the people and organizations who have stepped up to provide stewardship for today’s online ecosystem,” said Craig Spiezle, Executive Director of the Online Trust Alliance. “We salute their leadership and support their efforts in mitigating emerging privacy, identity and security threats and enhancing online trust. Combined these are keys to the vitality of the internet. We look forward to LashBack’s participation in this year’s Forum.”
“In the interest of helping companies protect their reputation and online brand presence, we are proud supporters of the Online Trust Forum,” said LashBack CEO Brandon Phillips. “Through industry leadership, we hope to build and improve upon the trust consumers have for companies in email and online.”
The only conference dedicated to a 360º perspective of online trust, with the viewpoints of government, business, marketers, and consumers, the 2011 Online Trust Forum provides a unique platform for exploring solutions for protecting consumer trust and online confidence.
Forum attendees will gain valuable insights into ideas and best practices for promoting the vitality of online commerce and consumer trust, hearing multiple perspectives on: enhancing brand reputation, customer loyalty and retention, defending against the onslaught of breaches and hacking incidents, and examining peer-tested strategies and technologies, with proven results for privacy and security.
Register for the Online Trust Forum: https://otalliance.org/dc.htmlOnline Trust Leadership Awards: https://otalliance.org/events/2011_Forum/2011Awards.html
Follow the OTA on Twitter: @otalliance
Marketing to Minors? ‘Do Not Track’ Targets Kids
Posted on May 9th, 2011 at 1:55 pm by Cari Birkner
A new bi-partisan bill was released in the U.S. House that expands well beyond the 1998 Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. Aiming to protect the information of those under eighteen, the draft bill seeks to prevent marketers from gathering and storing info on minors without parental consent, in addition to providing parents with a method of removing personal info that’s ‘already out there’. It’s been described as a giant eraser button to get rid of data ‘when technologically feasible’.
The bill specifies that personal information collected on minors cannot be used or shared with third parties for “targeted marketing purposes”. In addition, it requires companies that collect the info to disclose to consumers what type of personal info is being collected and how it’s being used and shared.
Another part of the bill proposes a “Digital Marketing Bill of Rights for Teens” which would limit data collection including geolocation targeting. While there are few who would argue against protecting the privacy of minors, one might respectfully question the potential effectiveness or enforceability of this legislation. Here are a few questions that come to mind:
How will marketers prove the age of online users?
It seems simple enough on the surface. Most lead forms include a ‘Date of Birth’ field already. In this scenario, advertisers could segment the data out based on birth date. However, I’d venture to guess the average teen/child can get around a check box or a DOB field if they truly want to register or view content. The only way to prevent this is at the user level or browser level on a PC or mobile device. The onus of responsibility is ultimately with parents and how heavily they monitor and restrict their child’s online behavior.
What happens to the data once it is collected?
When a minor appears to register or sign up for an offer, marketers should theoretically refrain from targeting that data or tracking the end user behavior. However, the bill doesn’t state specifics on how to implement this across partnerships. Email marketers are required to maintain and share suppression files with partners. Data that comes from minors could be automatically suppressed in a similar way.
Of course, storing and sharing PII and user email addresses leaves room for abuse, unless the data is properly hashed or encrypted. Marketers may be able to securely maintain a universal opt-out file containing the encrypted information of minors and scrub their own lists against it. In addition, LashBack suggests seeding partner lists with underage user profiles to ensure compliance.
Arguably, this is the easiest portion of the legislation from an implementation level, as well as an enforcement perspective. It’s also the least effective in terms of real protection. There have been movements to write privacy policies and terms of service in plain, simple language that end users will understand.
These movements have yet to work because simplifying language leaves room for legal liability. Case in point: the terms of service for Apple iTunes are 56 pages long in an era where few have the attention span to read past Twitter’s 140 characters. Lawyers might read privacy policies. Users don’t.
Can the data be used for targeting on the prospect’s eighteenth birthday?
If marketers maintain do-not-track lists based on age, theoretically, information gathered would no longer be protected from targeting once the user is eighteen. At least with email, addresses don’t expire or change based on age. Records would have to expire from a do-not-track list based on DOB.
Does this thing stand any chance of passing?
The bill is still in the discussion phase, as Congress holds hearings on mobile privacy in the coming weeks. Like many legislative attempts to regulate online activity, ‘Do Not Track’ provokes questions, leaves gray areas when it comes to enforcement, and inspires creativity on the part of marketers.
LashBack, LLC Is Now LashBack Inc.
Posted on February 21st, 2011 at 10:30 pm by Cari Birkner
Beginning in 2011, LashBack Inc., formerly LashBack, LLC, has reorganized as a corporation to reflect sole ownership by founder and CEO, Brandon Phillips. LashBack is proud to be a 100% independently owned source of compliance and reputation data to marketers, consumers, and regulatory officials. As part of this change, we’ll be re-branding as LashBack Inc. everywhere you look. Follow us on Twitter at our new handle, @LashBackInc, to continue to find the latest news and resources to improve your email marketing program.
As LashBack powers forward in 2011, we’re excited to announce new partnerships and integrations with advertising platforms and ground-breaking new technology providers such as Optizmo Technologies and CPA Detective. Optizmo is a lightning fast suppression file management solution that provides campaign level stats on opt-outs, user complaint feedback, and brand management tools. CPA Detective is a powerful service for detecting and eliminating lead generation fraud, potentially saving advertisers thousands of dollars per month. By partnering with companies that complement LashBack service offerings, we’re taking the leg work out of searching for ways to protect your marketing investments, while minimizing the workload on your compliance team. Trust us, we’re better together!
Just as cases of brand hijacking, fraud, incentivized offers, and deception in the edu vertical take center stage on the regulatory scene, LashBack has the tools and partnerships to combat and eliminate these issues. The path to sustainability starts here.
Canada Passes New Anti-SPAM Bill: Better than CAN-SPAM?
Posted on December 21st, 2010 at 12:16 pm by Kurt Fultz
Canada’s FISA (the Fighting Internet and Wireless Spam Act) Bill went into law on December 15. Its new requirements apply to anyone sending Commercial Electronic Messsages from Canada or to someone in Canada. FISA will apply to Canadian and international organizations sending email, SMS, instant messaging and social media/networking communication.
The biggest difference between FISA and CAN-SPAM is FISA requires opt-in consent before marketers can send a CEM. FISA also accepts circumstances of implied consent, including when the sender has an existing business relationship with the recipient.
While CAN-SPAM requires a company postal address, FISA requires address information along with the identity of the person who is sending the email message. If the email is being sent on someone’s behalf other than the sender, the name of that person needs to be included.
There are similarities between FISA and CAN-SPAM. They both require easy and clear unsubscribe mechanisms. The unsubscribe requests must be honored within ten business days. Both guidelines say Marketers cannot use address harvesting or dictionary attacks to generate lists.
As the Federal Trade Commission and Commerce Department recently released reports on the best privacy practices, it is important that the government looks at ways to improve international cooperation. Creating unified privacy and compliance laws across different countries will create more focused marketing messages and an improve internet user experience.
FISA may not go into effect until September 2011. For more information on FISA along with an excellent guide on how to become compliant with the new law, head over to Return Path.