Privacy Groups Want Online ‘Do Not Call’

‘Do Not Track’ would bar companies from targeting ads
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 31, 2007 3:59 PM CDT
Google sign inside their headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., Tuesday, May 15, 2007. The Federal Trade Commission has opened an antitrust investigation into Google Inc.'s proposed $3.1 billion purchase...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Consumer and privacy advocates have proposed a voluntary online “Do Not Track” list that would bar companies from monitoring web traffic for the purpose of targeting ads. Modeled on the popular “Do Not Call” list, which blocks phone telemarketers, the new proposal wouldn’t outlaw ads altogether, the Post and Times report, but would disallow the use of behavioral data.

The FTC will take up the recommendation, though it doesn’t currently control online privacy policies. An advertisers' trade group does offer users an “opt-out cookie,” but only 20% of ad networks belong—and advocates claim it isn’t tracking-proof. Another proposal to the FTC would allow consumers to modify their profiles: football lovers, for example, could correct data pegging them as golf enthusiasts.