jon leibowitz

Four ways the FTC's "Do Not Track" registry doesn't track

August 24, 2010: 2:19 PM ET

In theory, it sounds like a no-brainer. In practice, such a government-run registry could do more harm than good.

The Internet is an awesome free-for-all of services and content. It's also a terrifying space, one where bits of information about who you are and what you're doing continually float around like cyber flotsam and jetsam, only to be picked apart by outside parties for their own devices. As a result, privacy is an issue. But would the Internet be a better place if a national registry existed to shield users from prying advertisers?

Late last month, FTC chairman Jon Leibowitz announced to a Senate panel that the commission would explore the idea of a Do Not Track list for online marketers. In theory, it would work similarly to the Do Not Call registry pushed through in 2004: users register for a list governed by the FTC or a private entity that prevents web marketers from collecting user information like say, user ISPs providers, screen size, browser version, and so on. More

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