Just about anywhere you go online, at least some of your actions are being tracked. Sometimes, it’s as simple and innocuous as measuring unique visits to a website. Other times, it’s more invasive — keeping track of the pages you browse to provide you more targeted advertising. A newly introduced piece of federal legislation aims to give consumers more choices about when their browsing behavior is being tracked. [More]
do not track
It’s no secret that the internet, well, follows you around. Browse one product on Monday and you’re seeing ads for it everywhere all week long. Modern browsers have an option that lets users ask businesses nicely not to follow them. One consumer group tried to ask the FCC to make businesses listen but it appears that is not to be.
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]
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.
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.
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?
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.