Last week I had the opportunity to attend a convening of the Information Trust Exchange Governing Association (ITEGA) in Brooklyn, New York to discuss trust, advertising, and data privacy. The sessions were co-sponsored by the Local Media Consortium and the Internet Society and had roughly 45 academics and industry specialists participating.

The main goals of this convening were to map out current problems with online advertising as they relate to consumer trust and privacy, identify how those problems overlap, and create a map for moving forward. To insure that all areas of the problem were discussed, a variety of stakeholders were present from ad technology companies to content providers to browser technologists to academics with specialties in advertising, communication, and computer science.

The consensus among both industry and academic attendees is that the current process that governs online content consumption is flawed – from the consumer privacy perspective, from the ad technology side, and from the publisher or content provider view. The online ecosystem that we live in today is driving down digital revenue, eroding CPMs, and creating an untenable environment for privacy management. Many stakeholders at the event noted that we need to focus on a “people based strategy” to improve the experience for consumers rather than focusing on improving the experience for the industry.

Moving forward, I will be working with the “Technology for User Data and Authentication” group to help bring a consumer privacy perspective to a technical topic that is often times overlooked by your average online content consumer. I must say it is quite fun to be jumping into the technology deep end after a long time away.

For those of you who might want to know more, here are some fun people and resources from the convening:

I will post more information here as things begin to take shape – until then, please enjoy this lovely sunrise photo of the NYC skyline (that pink glow!).