Do-Not-Track bill introduced in US Senate
Data collection opt out mulled
A US senator has introduced a privacy bill that would prevent websites from following the online behavior of users who want to opt out of such tracking.
Dubbed the Do-Not-Track Online Act of 2011 (PDF here), the measure would give the Federal Trade Commission authority to draft specific rules about how and when consumers could register their choice not to be tracked online. The agency and state attorneys general would be responsible for enforcing the law.
“I believe consumers have a right to decide whether their information can be collected and used online,” Senator John D. Rockefeller, a Democrat of West Virginia, and the sponsor of the bill, said in a statement. “This bill offers a simple, straightforward way for people to stop companies from tracking their movements online.”
The legislation would apply to people browsing the web with computers or mobile devices. Rockefeller is chairman of the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee.
Google recently became the only browser marker to explicitly join lobbyists opposing a proposed California law that would have much the same effect.
Mozilla and Microsoft have added do-not-track technology to their browsers, and Apple reportedly has done the same with its Safari browser for the Lion version of OS X. Google, by contrast, has promoted a plug-in for opting-out of tracking cookies from multiple advertising networks in Chrome. ®
What a surprise
The advertising giant is against user privacy options because they could affect revenue!
This won't get through I assume, but it would be nice. At the moment a combination of Better Privacy, Adblock Plus and Cookie Monster for firefox stop most of the client-side tracking that I don't like, but there's nothing to stop trackers from just using my IP address or using the more nefarious 'evercookie' methods.
Having a legal requirement to leave me the hell alone would be good. Having tracking as "opt-in" instead of the usual "opt-out" would be even better, but that'll never happen in a million years!
Should be Opt In not Opt Out
but then who would gain?
In a word...
I don't really care, at all, in the slightest, if "Opt-in" inconveniences or upsets any advertising company or associated enterprise. It will start to put them back on a fairer footing with print media. I opt-in to advertising in magazines. I opt-in to advertising on television. why should I not have the right to opt in to advertising and, even more importantly, tracking on the internet and mobile devices.
If the companies then set out to buy political influence we will know them for exactly what they are.