Do Not Track List

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"A coalition of privacy and consumer advocacy groups are asking government regulators to create a "Do Not Track" list that Americans can use to block online advertisers from silently recording people's browsing habits."


Description

"Technically, the proposed list (.pdf) would work very differently from the Do Not Call Registry. Any advertiser that tracks user behavior would have to report what servers they use to serve up a cookie or other tracking device. Individuals would then update their browsers to include a plug-in that could download the list and block some or all of the tracking cookies.

Like the Do Not Call Registry, government regulators would have the power to enforce the measure against companies that secretly track users or keep more information than they say they do.

The National Advertising Initiative, whose members are advertising companies that use tracking cookies on a wide swath of websites, lambasted the idea as "unprecedented" and "disturbing." The NAI said current protections, such as its opt-out page, are adequate, and that all browsers already have the ability to block tracking cookies.

"This proposal for a government-run blacklist would break both the basic functionality and economic models of most, if not all, e-commerce and content-driven consumer websites," the NAI said in a press release. "It is disturbing to think that, under the proposal, the government would step in with a downloaded application that would need to 'call home' to the government on a regular basis." (http://www.wired.com/politics/onlinerights/news/2007/10/do_not_track)


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