What sort of principles should determine what kinds of ads users see on the Internet, and where? Last November, the Federal Trade Commission held a town hall meeting that brought together Internet companies, consumer and privacy advocates, government representatives, and Internet users to discuss the consumer benefits and potential privacy issues raised by behavioral advertising.

Shortly thereafter, the FTC released draft self-regulatory principles prepared by the Commission's staff for online behavioral advertising, and invited comments from industry stakeholders. And late last week, we provided our comments on the FTC’s draft principles.

Google's comments underscore our support for the Commission's proposed self-regulatory approach, which we believe is the most appropriate method of ensuring innovation, competition, and consumer protection in this space.

We hope that our comments and others' result in a set of privacy principles that can be implemented by industry and provide consumers with appropriate levels of transparency and choice -- two of the design principles that constitute the bedrock of Google's privacy practices. We would expect that such principles would be widely adopted by the online advertising industry and would serve as a model for industry self-regulation in jurisdictions beyond the U.S.

We look forward to continued engagement with the FTC on developing a set of workable self-regulatory practices. And we welcome your input - what do you think about the FTC principles and Google's comments?