The Federal Trade Commission this week has let known that they'll be showing the world a "Do Not Track" option for consumer data that companies will be encouraged to adopt across the board. This announcement comes amid a siren call from publishers and consumers alike that an "easy to use and effective" option for consumers is necessary in our very apt to track data use society of today. The White House as well earlier this year chimed in with a "privacy bill of rights" which may well have been the tipping point for the FTC in such matters.
The data we're speaking about here is of course online-based data, this data being the tracked results of what you search for, where you browse, what you buy, and more. The FTC will be showing this "Do Not Track" system as a "complete implementation" that they'll be working with industry groups to complete within the next few years. The report reads in part as follows:
“Although some companies have excellent privacy and data securities practices, industry as a whole must do better." - FTC
The FTC also includes a re-affirmation that they'd like Congress to inflict a ruling which would provide consumers with access to all data collected on them for marketing purposes. As for the privacy report on the whole, it was voted in with a 3-1 vote, the descent coming from Comissioner Thomas Rosch, who noted the following:
"Unfairness is an elastic and elusive concept," noting that the recommendations were overly broad, he noted that they would instead, "[apply to] most information collection practices. … It would install ‘Big Brother’ as the watchdog over these practices not only in the online world but in the offline world." - Rosch
We'll see how this plays out in the coming months. How private do you feel you are at the moment online? Do you think you're being treated fairly?
[via Washington Post]