Advocacy Groups Propose “Do Not Track List” for Online Advertising

Privacy groups have been lobbying the Federal Trade Commission to enact a new program to allow consumers to protect their online activities from tracking by retailers or advertising companies, an online analog to the phone-based Do Not Call Registry. Companies may currently track users’ habits without explicit notification of what information they are collecting and storing. Aggregators of this data, such as DoubleClick, have said that this data collection allows for more relevant targeted ads that actually benefit the consumer. AOL recently has included an “opt out” function, allowing users some control over what information is collected about them. The Federal Trade Commission studied this and other issues during their consumer watchdog agency workshop on Nov. 1-2.

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