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Barton Satisfied with Charter’s NebuAd Decision

Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) Tuesday added his thanks to that of House Telecommunications & Internet Subcommittee chairman Ed Markey (D-Mass.) for Charter Communications’ decision not to proceed with a test of the NebuAd online-ad network, which delivers ads to Web surfers based on their Web-browsing preferences.

“Victories on the privacy front are so uncommon that when we win one, it’s especially worth celebrating," Barton said in a statement late Tuesday. "I hope this one leads to many more because just the idea that people deserve to have their privacy protected from intrusion is under siege in the digital age.”

Barton, former chairman of the Energy & Commerce Committee, joined with Markey to write a letter to Charter last month asking it to hold off on the test given privacy concerns.

Charter said Monday that it would not proceed "at this time," but added that its goal was still to "ultimately structure an advertising service that enhances the Internet experience for our customers and addresses questions and concerns they’ve raised."

Online advertising has become a hot bipartisan topic in Washington, D.C., these days, as concerns over privacy intersect with those of some anti-consolidation activists over concentration in the online space.