ISP, Ad Networking Scheme May Violate Federal and State Wiretap Laws

CDT today released an analysis questioning the legal standing of a new approach to online advertising being considered by Internet Service Providers and Internet advertising networks. Under the new scheme, an ISP allows an advertising network to copy the contents of the individual Web traffic streams of the ISP’s subscribers. The advertising network creates a record of each individual’s online behavior, which is used to target ads to the consumer. CDT concludes that the use of Internet traffic content from ISPs may run afoul of federal and state wiretap laws unless performed with the prior, express consent of the subscriber. Some state laws may pose higher burdens.