FTC Rejects Call for Internet Privacy Law

Google, others want ad guidelines; feds favor self-regulation
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 9, 2008 5:23 PM CDT
In this Jan. 6, 2008, file photo, Microsoft chairman Bill Gates pauses during his keynote address at the Consumer Electronics Show.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, file)
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(Newser) – An federal official testifying at a Senate hearing today shot down calls for a federal law to regulate websites that track users' data for advertising purposes. The FTC doesn't think it's necessary to place a rule on the books—one that could quickly become obsolete—and instead encouraged "meaningful, enforceable self regulation," reports the Wall Street Journal.

Representatives from Microsoft, Google, and other major web players disagreed. "As we get into online advertising, that kind of baseline federal privacy standard would certainly help here," said a lawyer for Microsoft. "Self regulation was never expected to be a full solution," said the president of the Center for Democracy and Technology.