Dec 022010
 December 2, 2010  Posted by  Laws, Online

The FTC’s recommendation for some sort of Do Not Track option is drawing mixed reviews. As a sample:

Dan Gillmor,writing on Salon, thinks “it’s a start:”

Americans have become so numb to the relentless erosion of our privacy that we tend to view even small advances with skepticism, if not outright cynicism. Such is the case with yesterday’s Federal Trade Commission proposal for a “do not track” system, whereby people could tell online marketers that they don’t want their online activities to be captured and used by websites or online advertising firms.

The FTC’s report is just that: a document with no regulatory power. But FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz told reporters in a conference call that the commission will urge Congress to act if the industry doesn’t “step to the plate.” I take the need for congressional action as a given, since the online industry’s self-regulation has ranged from weak to bogus.

Steve Sullivan of the IAB, writing on The Hill, thinks any such Do Not Track list would present greater problems than what we face now:

But when so-called privacy advocates call for a do-not-track list what they’re really calling for is very likely more tracking and certainly less consumer control of the content they receive.

For more on the range of responses, see David Goldman’s article on CNN and John P. Mello Jr.’s article on TechNewsWorld.

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