But, he urged that the coming regulation we've all heard about is not the end of the world and added, "Let's do a level set. It's not about the industry 'blowing up,' it's about an industry becoming mature."
The interesting challenge for lawmakers will continue to be the navigation of the world of big data which is inherent with the Internet. Can big data be regulated? Is this really like other industries? And, the Internet is borderless. Regardless, for Zimbalist, his view is regulation is inevitable. In fact, it felt like he'd already seen the future which should give everyone pause.
Paraphrasing his thoughts on the online consumer privacy legislation currently floating through the halls of Washington, he said that in the near term the well-known Boucher bill will likely get folded into the bill introduced by Congressman Bobby Rush - a bill perceived as "smarter."
Having spent time with Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chairman Leibovitz in Washington - Zimbalist characterized the FTC's understanding of the online ad industry as it relates to online consumer privacy challenges as "very high."