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“Do-not-track” bill a good step to protect consumers

Monday, May 9, 2011

New “Do-Not-Track” Bill a Critical Step to Protect Consumer Privacy, Says Consumers Union

WASHINGTON, DC – Consumers Union, nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports, today praised the “Do-Not-Track” bill introduced by Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), calling it a critical step in the effort to protect consumer privacy and personal information online.
Ioana Rusu, Regulatory Counsel for Consumers Union, said, “This is a simple, straight forward way to give consumers control over their personal data as they surf online and through mobile applications. As it stands now, browser companies such as Mozilla and Apple have already begun to incorporate Do Not Track options into their browsers, but online service providers are under no obligation to recognize or respect these browser tools. This bill will put regulatory support behind these industry initiatives and make sure that online providers listen to the many consumers who want to clearly say ‘No’ to online tracking. This complements the comprehensive online privacy legislation introduced by Senators Kerry and McCain last month.”
The legislation would direct the FTC to put standards in place for the implementation of a “Do Not Track” mechanism, which would allow Internet users to indicate, in a simple and easy manner, whether they wish to have their personal information collected by online service providers and through mobile applications and services. Once such mechanisms are developed, if consumers opt out of online tracking, the law would require websites to respect that choice or face penalties.
“Consumers Union applauds Senator Rockefeller for his work on this important issue and we look forward to working with him and other key groups throughout the legislative process,” Rusu said.

David Butler, Kara Kelber: 202-462-6262