FTC testifies before Congress on Do Not Track list

Dec 3, 2010
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If you are the type that is very concerned about your privacy when you are surfing the web and worry that advertisers might be collecting all sorts of data on you and your surfing habits, the FTC is trying to stop that tracking. The FTC has been testifying before Congress on a new Do Not Track legislation that would set up a national registry of users that do not want any of their web habits tracked by marketers.

The Do Not Track list would be similar to the national Do Not Call registry that keeps people for getting messages from telemarketers. The FTC is proposing that Do Not Track would be a persistent setting on Web Browsers of consumers. The FTC concedes that behavioral advertising held some value for web surfers, but the practice needs to be more transparent and the consumer needs more control over what is tracked.

Marketers are not happy at all about the proposal and some claim that the move will cause significant financial harm to the marketing companies. I doubt any web surfer will care that the advertising firm is going to lose money by not being able to do something that most of us never wanted anyway. The testimony stated, "[the best way to avoid tracking] would likely involve placing a setting similar to a persistent cookie on a consumer's browser, and conveying that setting to sites that the browser visits, to signal whether or not the consumer wants to be tracked or receive targeted advertisements."


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