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Senator Introduces “Do-Not-Track” Bill Saying Industry Failed To Protect Consumers Voluntarily

Far from sitting on his laurels as an outgoing Congressman, Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV of West Virginia is gearing up to go out with a blaze of consumer advocacy. He’s set to retire at the end of next year after championing consumers during his career, but before then will be working on the “Do-Not-Track Online Act of 2013,” a bill he introduced yesterday. [More]

‘Do Not Track’ Browser Option Will Remain Opt-In Only

‘Do Not Track’ Browser Option Will Remain Opt-In Only

Last week, Microsoft got some deserved praise from privacy advocates — and much “harumph”-ing from online advertisers — when it announced that its next iteration of Internet Explorer would go out with Do Not Track as the default privacy setting. Unfortunately, that plan appears to have been scuttled, not by Microsoft, but by the authors of the Do Not Track specifications draft. [More]

Yahoo To Add "Do Not Track" Feature To Sites

Yahoo To Add "Do Not Track" Feature To Sites

Days after the Federal Trade Commission called on companies and lawmakers to beef up online privacy measures, the folks at Yahoo have announced they will be adding a “do not track” feature to its array of websites. [More]

FTC Report Pushes Companies, Congress To Improve Online Privacy

FTC Report Pushes Companies, Congress To Improve Online Privacy

Earlier today, the Federal Trade Commission released the results of its two-year look into what needs to be done about protecting the privacy of American consumers. It all seems to make good sense, but will anyone actually follow the FTC’s recommendations? [More]

Consumer Group Launches Anti-Google Ad In Times Square, Keeps Google Analytics On Its Own Website

Consumer Group Launches Anti-Google Ad In Times Square, Keeps Google Analytics On Its Own Website

The group Consumer Watchdog is pushing hard for Congress to establish a “do not track” list for online consumers, which I’m all for. I’m not sure whether releasing a ridiculously unpleasant cartoon in Times Square is the right strategy, though–especially when you use the very service you’re warning people about. [More]

Should The Government Set Up A "Do-Not-Track" List?

Should The Government Set Up A "Do-Not-Track" List?

One of the most popular sentiments expressed by readers on our blog is “be a smart consumer.” Now two privacy advocacy organizations are calling for the creation of a “do-not-track” list that would protect registered users from online data collection. They argue that a list is needed because too many consumers won’t or can’t understand the methods behind online tracking. To illustrate, one of the organizations “pointed to a 2005 University of Pennsylvania survey in which only 25 percent of respondents knew that a Web site having a privacy policy doesn’t guarantee that the site refrains from sharing customers’ information with companies.” But a do-not-track list is overkill, and a fearful reaction against emerging technologies.