Julia Angwin and Scott Thurm report:
Eleven of the nation’s largest website operators defended their privacy practices to lawmakers, saying it is impossible for them to monitor all the tracking technologies their sites install on visitors’ computers.
The operators, including Microsoft Corp., Yahoo Inc. and AOL Inc., say they are improving disclosures about online tracking and offering users more ways to protect their privacy. But they say that eliminating tracking is technically difficult and economically impractical, because the targeted advertisements supported by tracking allow the operators to offer free content.
Read more: on WSJ (behind paywall, though)
If I were writing the headline for this, I wouldn’t have called it “Privacy Defense Mounted.” Maybe “Website Operators Claim They Really Have No Idea What They’re Doing.”