FTC Backs Do-Not-Track System for Web

The Federal Trade Commission unveiled a report on Internet privacy Wednesday that calls for the development of a do-not-track system that would enable people to avoid having their actions monitored online, a move the online-advertising industry has opposed.

“Industry must do better,” the FTC staff report states. “Many companies–both online and offline–do not adequately address consumer privacy interests.”

David Vladeck, director of the FTC’s bureau of consumer protection, said in a speech Wednesday at the National Press Club that it is too hard for people to avoid being tracked online, particularly as tracking companies are constantly developing new methods.

“We will not tolerate a technological arms race that aims to subvert consumer choice,” Mr. Vladeck said. “We have to simplify consumer choice, and a do-not-track option can achieve that goal.”

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