Federal regulators are proposing to create a "Do Not Track" list for the Internet so that people could prevent marketers from tracking their Web browsing habits and other online behavior in order to target advertising.
The proposal, modeled after the government's existing Do Not Call List for telemarketers, is one of a series of recommendations outlined in a new privacy report released Wednesday by the Federal Trade Commission. The report lays out a broad framework for protecting consumer privacy both online and offline as personal data collection becomes ubiquitous — often without consumer knowledge.
The FTC hopes the report will help inform lawmakers and other policymakers as they draft new rules of the road to protect privacy, and guide the marketing industry as it develops self-regulatory principles to define acceptable corporate behavior.
Protecting consumer privacy, the FTC says, is critical as marketers — particularly online marketers — are analyzing the websites consumers visit, the online links they click, Internet searches, online and offline purchases, the physical locations of cell phones and other wireless devices and all sorts of personal information disclosed on social networking sites.