Do-Not-Track Talks Could Be Running Off the Rails

by NATASHA SINGER, The New York Times technology

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is meeting May 6-8 in an effort to reach an agreement that would offer a Do Not Track privacy mechanism for the Internet.

“Most people don’t realize the extent to which this brazen online tracking is done, but when the practice is described, they want to be able to control it,” says Consumer Watchdog’s John M. Simpson. “Why should a company I know nothing about, have no say over, and no relationship with be able to collect information about my online activity?”

The proposed W3C standard says that any Do Not Track button be set to off by default instead of a neutral position, which would enable users to turn the signal on or off. The proposal also says that any Do Not Track mechanism should be located only in the browser setting and not through a browser “installation process or any other similar mechanism.”

The W3C effort, led by Ohio State University professor Peter P. Swire, is the result of two years of negotiations. However, reaching a consensus is still problematic as advertisers want the ability to keep tracking users’ data while privacy advocates insist that users should be able to turn tracking off. Report

DCL: This is a matter of protecting the individual’s personal property. Digitial spying is rampant and crooks can do exactly what the advertisers do.

Leave a Reply