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Canoe Ventures To Be Discussed At House Online Privacy Hearing

Look for Democrats on the House Communications, Technology & Internet Subcommittee to focus, at least in part, on cable ad initiative Canoe in their hearing on online privacy and targeted marketing Thursday.

That's according to Center For Digital Democracy Executive Director Jeff Chester, who says his group supplied information on the project at the request of committee members.

Canoe Ventures is the targeted ad initiative launched last year by cable's heaviest hitters-Comcast, Cox, Time Warner, BrightHouse, Cablevision and Charter.

Canoe said at the Cable Show earlier this month that it was preparing to launch an addressable ad product by early May.

Chester wants Congress to investigate the ad system on both antitrust and privacy grounds. "When six of the largest cable companies jointly create a highly powerful consumer profiling and targeting system that will track what consumers do in their homes, serious scrutiny is required," said Chester.

Subcommittee Chairman Rick Boucher (D-VA) told B&C that one of his legislative priorities is a law that would restrict how behavioral marketers could collect and use information to target their advertising. He is currently working on a bill to that effect.

The hearing is slated for 10 a.m. Thursday. Witnesses include NCTA President Kyle McSlarrow and Free Press Policy Director Ben Scott.

John Eggerton
John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.