FTC do not track
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By Jennifer Valentino-DeVries In an unusual move, the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection asked a Columbia University Law School professor to censor his remarks in a hearing about online privacy legislation. Getty Images
By JULIA ANGWIN And JENNIFER VALENTINO-DEVRIES WASHINGTON—The Federal Trade Commission weighed in on the issue of Internet privacy Wednesday, calling for development of a "do not track" system that would enable people to avoid having their actions monitored online—prompting immediate objections from the online-advertising industry. "Self regulation of privacy has not worked adequately and is not working adequately for American consumers," said FTC Commissioner Jon Leibowitz. "We deserve far better." The FTC endorsed a report by its staff that faulted the industry for not doing enough to protect consumer privacy online. Mr.
The Federal Trade Commission is proposing new policies around online privacy, including the creation of a "Do Not Track" mechanism as a means of easing the burden on consumers trying to keep tabs on who's keeping tabs on them. The goal of the proposal , which is open to public comment until January 31, is "to balance the privacy interests of consumers with innovation that relies on consumer information to develop beneficial new products and services." Facebook is one example of a company that has been innovating to channel the valuable data it has about its members into extended features but has also come under fire for crossing extremely fine lines when it comes to privacy. And so, the commission is proposing some policies that would empower consumers to make educated decisions.
“ This report should bolster efforts to enact a privacy bill next Congress. Its recommendations are consistent with what is being discussed on the Hill. ” Justin Brookman - Privacy Project Director, CDT
Some Background Notes on Do Not Track – in Advance of the Future of Privacy Panel and the Energy and Commerce Hearing Today’s Wall Street Journal article by Julia Angwin focuses on the upcoming “Do Not Track” events taking place this week, including the FPF program on Wednesday, and provides some background on recent developments. To further brief those of you attending in person or by phone, we thought it would be useful to provide an overview that captures the incredible flurry of advances in this area. Although there are improvements that are still critically needed, there has been tremendous progress in this area and a host of innovations are just beginning to emerge. We hope the attention from the FTC, the Hill, the media, and the advocacy community will encourage the next steps needed to advance meaningful consumer controls and will support responsible advertising data uses.
The Federal Trade Commission outlined today the beginnings of a new framework to protect online privacy, starting with a "Do Not Track" feature. The recommendation was included in a sweeping report (PDF), which FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz said includes concrete guidance for an industry that has failed to properly self-regulate. "If companies tell consumers what they're doing with their data, consumers can just avoid companies that have data practices they don't like," he said during a conference call with the media.
David Vladeck, Director of the FTC’s Division of Consumer Protection, this morning previewed the long-awaited FTC report that sums up months of discussion regarding the future of privacy regulation in the United States and examines the viability of a Do Not Track mechanism. Vladeck indicated at the Consumer Watchdog Policy Conference that the existing privacy framework in the U.S. is not keeping pace with new technologies. In addition, he stated that the pace of industry self-regulation, while constructive, has been too slow. According to Vladeck, the report will address several major themes, including the following:
The Federal Trade Commission released an online privacy report today that will reshape how companies, consumers and businesses interact on the Internet. The agency will take questions from reporters at 1 PM EST and from the public on Twitter in its first Twitter chat at 3 PM EST. The recommendation that “companies should adopt a ‘privacy by design’ approach by building privacy protections into their everyday business practices” is a key direction to every startup or Global 1000 corporation that comes under the FTC’s purview as the nation’s top consumer protection regulator.