Call for ‘do no track’ Web button

Web users should be able to press a “do not track me” button on their browsers to block companies from using their history to tailor advertising to them, according to US authorities.
The Federal Trade Commission believes the facility would stop a person being exposed to behavioural advertising and would function like the mail and telephone preference services.
“Self-regulation of privacy has not worked adequately,” said FTC chairman Jon Leibowitz. “We deserve far better from the companies we entrust our data to, and industry, as a whole, must do better. So the FTC will take action against companies that cross the line with consumer data and violate consumers’ privacy – especially when children and teens are involved.”
“The Commission recommends a simple, easy to use choice mechanism for consumers to opt out of the collection of information about their Internet behavior for targeted ads,” said an FTC statement. “The most practical method would probably involve the placement of a persistent setting, similar to a cookie, on the consumer’s browser signaling the consumer’s choices about being tracked and receiving targeted ads.”
Last month, The European Parliament launched a crackdown on online behavioural advertising, demanding a raft of measures to combat what it claims is a “deplorable” practice.
A draft report said ads based on a Web user’s activity should carry a sign saying “behavioural advertising”and display a window explaining what information has been used to select the ad.

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