Internet Law

FTC to Create 'Do Not Track' List?

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In a suggestion that should send a shiver down the spines of Web-based companies throughout the world, some are asking the Federal Trade Commission to develop an Internet version of its popular Do Not Call list.

The fledgling idea apparently would involve a ban on companies using cookies and other methods to follow the Web surfing activities of consumers who sign up on a Do Not Track list, reports the Washington Post. Like the Do Not Call list, it would require consumers to opt in by putting their names on a list of those not to be pursued by advertisers.

The idea is, of course, intended to protect individual privacy. It would presumably be objectionable to the many companies who presently can use an individual’s Web-surfing activities to put related advertising on that person’s computer screen within seconds.

The proposal isn’t likely to be implemented anytime soon, according to FTC Commissioner Jon Leibowitz, because it would likely require Congressional approval.

However, he notes, “It’s a really promising idea that would empower consumers to choose their own level of privacy protections.”

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