The Onion recently joked that Congress forgot how to pass a law, but to the contrary, "Do Not Track Me" legislation was introduced today by Rep. Jackie Speier. The bill is designed to allow consumers to block unwanted tracking of personal information online.
The "Do Not Track Me" legislation is intended to be analogous to the "Do Not Call" list for telemarketing. The bill is supported by the nonprofit Consumer Watchdog as well as a number of consumer advocates. 80% of Americans support a Do Not Track option, according to Consumer Watchdog.
Under the bill, the Federal Trade Commission would be charged with enacting and enforcing new regulations that would provide consumers with ways to block companies from tracking their internet activities and privacy information. The Obama Administration is also likely to push for a bill of rights for online privacy, the Wall Street Journal reports.
"Consumers should have the right to choose if their private information ... is collected, analyzed and profiled by companies tracking activities online. Do Not Track is the simple way for consumers to say 'no thanks' to being monitored while they surf the web," said Carmen Balber, Washington director for Consumer Watchdog.
Could it really be a bill that has bipartian support and a realistic chance of passing? It looks that way.
"Right now much of the online advertising market is based on unauthorized spying on consumers ... A Do Not Track mechanism would give consumers better control of their information and help restore their confidence in the Internet ... What kind of lasting business can be built on snooping on your customers?" said John M. Simpson, director of Consumer Watchdog's Inside Google Project.
Sounds like a winner for everyone.
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