Fresh warning on ‘do-not-track’

The EU has followed its release of new data protection laws by calling on Web companies to agree a workable ‘do-not-track’ privacy standard by June this year, or face a clampdown by Brussels.
EU digital agenda commissioner Neelie Kroes made the call at the opening of this week’s World Wide Web Consortium meeting, convened to thrash out privacy standards that will enable web users to avoid tracking for marketing purposes.
Kroes said: “Do-not-track today is still an aspiration rather than a reality. And that is why I have called for agreement on a do-not-track standard by June of this year. I am happy that work on this is proceeding in the World Wide Web Consortium. But we need to act fast to turn do-not-track into a reality for all web users.”
Kroes told the W3C meeting on Tuesday that the do-not-track standard needs to allow user control of data, and have the flexibility to cope with differing legal frameworks.
“When providers receive do-not-track signals from their users, how they need to respond may be different depending on whether the user is in Europe, the US or wherever,” said Kroes. “So the system will need to adapt flexibly, depending on the jurisdiction in question.”

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