Could the “Do Not Track” Bill Do More Harm Than Good?Posted on: February 25th, 2011 | 21 Comments
Representative Jackie Speier (D-Ca.) introduced a bill this month called the “Do Not Track Me Online Act of 2011.” In the title alone, the bill sounds very appealing for consumers, but the context of it raises some potentially harmful concerns for both consumers and advertisers.
The bill hopes to protect consumer privacy by providing an option that is said to be equivalent to be the National Do Not Call Registry offline. Although several privacy groups have already spoken out in support of the policy, if passed, it would directly impact behavioral targeting that advertisers use.
According to Marc Oestreich, a Legislative Specialist for Technology Policy at The Heartland Institute, companies spent more than $22 billion on online advertising in 2009. He pointed out that a large portion of this amount was attributed to behavioral advertising and contextual advertising, both of which allow advertisers to reach a targeted, niche audience.
“I think that Jackie Speier and a lot of these privacy groups fail to understand the huge benefit that that has for the Internet marketplace and for people with the ability to receive these free services online and, just in general, to get advertising that fits your personality,” he said.
In response to complaints, the FTC asked Web browser developers, in December, to give consumers the option to opt out of online tracking for advertising. Google, Mozilla, Microsoft, and Apple have all complied with the request in the latest versions of their browsers.
Oestreich also mentioned that the bill could impact many of the free Internet services that consumers depend on everyday. Behavioral advertising provides the revenue to back many of these programs, and without it, companies would likely be forced to charge for Web-based email, social networks, and other similar services.Read More and see Videos...
Remember when only Spyware and Addware and Tracking Cookies were the only Web Trackers you had to worry about? Now it is Standard Practice for Web Sites and their Advertisors to Track your IP Address which shows ecactly where you are and who your ISP is. Then after you Surf a while. All the while with every Click and URL You Visit being Logged by almost every Site you Visit... Then let's say you give your name, address, phone or cell numbers out to Face Book of all Sites to Trust! Well, then there is Now No Such Thing as Privacy for You any More!:O
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