The Latest: Company says ads respect consumers' privacy

AP News
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Posted: May 01, 2016 11:00 AM

NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on a U.S. senator's call for an investigation into the practices of an outdoor advertising company in New York (all times local):

10:45 a.m.

An outdoor advertising company says its use of mobile phone data to learn about potential consumers is based on anonymous information.

Clear Channel Outdoor Americas spokesman Jason King said in a statement Sunday its RADAR program used for billboard advertising has existed for years.

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer is calling on the Federal Trade Commission to investigate the technique. The New York Democrat wants to know if the company has employed deceptive trade practices because consumers may not know their location data is being monitored.

Company officials say they don't collect any identifiable information about consumers.

Clear Channel Outdoor operates more than 675,000 billboards throughout the world.

A FTC representative hasn't responded to a request for comment on Schumer's proposed probe.

6:35 a.m.

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer is asking the Federal Trade Commission to investigate an advertising technique that uses mobile phone data to learn about people who pass by billboards.

An outdoor advertising company, Clear Channel Outdoor Americas, says it works with partner companies to match aggregated location data. It can then cater ads to specific consumers based on the demographics of passers-by and determine if the people eventually end up at the advertiser's stores.

The company uses aggregated data from partners, including AT&T. It says individual consumers cannot be identified.

Schumer, a New York Democrat, wants the FTC to investigate whether it is a deceptive trade practice because he says most people don't realize their location data is being monitored.

Neither Clear Channel nor the FTC immediately responded to requests for comment.