Dem introduces ‘Do Not Track Me Online’ privacy bill

By Sahil Kapur
Monday, February 14, 2011 14:02 EDT
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WASHINGTON – A California Democrat has introduced an online privacy measure that would allow Web users to opt-out of having their online behavior monitored by advertisers.

HR 654, The Do Not Track Me Online Act of 2011, would empower the Federal Trade Commission to write regulations ensuring that online marketing agencies refrain from tracking users who wish not to be tracked.

“Consumers have a right to determine what if any of their information is shared with big corporations and the federal government must have the authority and tools to enforce reasonable protections,” said the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA).

“Failure to do so,” read a summary from Speier’s office, “would be considered an unfair or deceptive act punishable by law. The covered entity would have to disclose its collection and sharing practices, including with whom the information is shared.”

Speier also introduced HR 653, the Financial Information Privacy Act of 2011, which would afford consumers greater control over personal financial information that is often collected by banks.

She called the two bills examples of upholding “privacy over profit.”

According to Speier, the bills have been endorsed by the Consumer Federation of America, Consumers Union, Consumer Action, U.S. PIRG, Consumer Watchdog, World Privacy Forum, the Center for Digital Democracy, and the ACLU.

Speier referenced a recent USA Today poll which found last week that roughly 70 percent of Facebook users and over half of Google users say they’re either “somewhat” or “very concerned” about their privacy.

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  • Guest

    Good! I hate being tracked online. It’s like being stalked.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_UM75UT6SBQFK2O6OFTHZMZIGTM Corey Sittig

    Fuck yeah http://www.ghostery.com is the best! Though if you use Google Chrome, they won’t allow it to block Google’s own tracking software. Get rid of Chrome, get firefox, then get ghostery.

  • dk504

    Oh come on, I love the government reading my missives on line. SUCK IT G-MAN. I hate you!!!!! Dick ‘Darth Vader’ Cheney is a WAR CRIMINAL. SUCK IT!!!!!!!!!!

    Sometimes I think its the only way the government knows what we the people are thinking….

  • Anonymous

    Will the bill require those who would track to NOT track or will the trackers, as eariler suggested, have the right to heed or ignore requests not to track?

  • Anonymous

    Sounds like a better approach then legislation. The less the government is involved in regulating the internet the better.

  • Anonymous

    About Time! Push it THRU!

  • Anonymous

    You don’t even need an add-on for tracking anymore! (EDIT: oops, this is actually completely wrong, see replies)
    The best option is simply to download Firefox 4, because it has a built in Do Not Track option to block all tracking (http://blog.mozilla.com/blog/2011/02/08/mozilla-firefox-4-beta-now-including-do-not-track-capabilities). The final version should be released soon, until then I highly recommend a beta or (my favorite) the nightly builds available here: http://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/mozilla.org/firefox/nightly/latest-trunk

    As always, word to the wise: GET ADBLOCK PLUS, friends don’t let friends use Internet Explorer, torrent the world, and Windows 7 is available free here: http://forums.mydigitallife.info/threads/7126-The-Official-Windows-7-Repository

    Happy surfing!

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/5OQFBZ26C3VQ5ONGZGDBDY4BUU Mark A

    Too little, too late. They already know everything about you. If they want to track you, they just have to pretend they have a reason. They know they won’t be prosecuted.

  • Anonymous

    “built in Do Not Track option to block all tracking”

    You’re dreaming, it does not block ANYONE from tracking:

    With the integration of the “Do Not Track” option into Firefox 4 Beta, you can now check a “Do Not Track” box in the “Advanced” screen of Firefox’s Options. When this option is selected, a header will be sent signaling to websites that you wish to opt-out of online behavioral tracking.

    You are beyond naive if you believe that web sites are really going to pay attention to that flag.

    (my favorite) the nightly builds

    Wow you really are insane. Those builds are experimental, untested and probably contain many many security flaws. It says RIGHT ON THEIR WEB PAGE:

    “These builds are for testing purposes only.”

  • Anonymous

    Dude the government invented the internet. They wrote the specifications for it. They continue to do so, even today. You would not be typing your ignorant little rant if the government hadn’t regulated the Internet. You would still be on AOL getting your messages censored.

  • Anonymous

    It’s not “like” stalking, it IS stalking.

  • Anonymous

    How will you even be able to tell? It is all happening inside their computer. You can’t tell if you are being tracked or not. All you can do is take their word for it, and you how much that is worth.

    This is just a way to fool people like you into thinking that something has changed when in fact nothing has changed at all. They will still track your every movement despite your little tag that says “please do not track my every movement”

  • hegesias

    Obviously a great idea. I recently read an article about how JP Morgan (from which, of course, Obama was given a someone to oversee his staff) has sold much more silver than they can possibly get their hands on and if everyone bought a small amount of silver and requested delivery, it would force JP Morgan into bankruptcy. So, of course, I checked out how to buy a small amount of silver. Now I have silver ads on every political website that I go to.

  • Anonymous

    Whoa you are right! http://arstechnica.com/open-source/news/2011/02/do-not-track-arrives-in-firefox-beta-ad-industry-not-on-board-yet.ars

    Thanks for giving us the heads up about that. Anyway, I’m not terribly concerned about security flaws in the nightly build, since there isn’t anything important on my computer, and I doubt anyone would bother trying to exploit a flaw that might only exist for a few days and would only apply to like one tenth of one percent of people on the internet. It would be a million times more rewarding to exploit IE. If you’re so worried about it just get the stable beta.

  • Anonymous

    Gee, I hope it works as well as the “Do Not Call” registry. Might as well put a sign on your ass that reads, “Kick me real hard, I like it.”

  • Anonymous

    If you use FireFox, then you can use, free, Ghostery.com…it show every tracking cookie at every site you go to and block all of them you want to block. As for the Govt: there is not a govt anywhere in the world that does not have a backdoor to anyone on the net.

  • Anonymous

    “there isn’t anything important on my computer”

    There could be child pornography on your computer if you’ve allowed hackers to get into it. You could spend the rest of your life in jail, framed by who-know-who. Be careful.

  • Anonymous

    I find the concept of having to “Opt Out” offensive. The bastards ought to be forced to get us to “Opt In”. Of course, no one would do that and they’d be out of business. As they should be! Does anyone see their existence as serving any form of universal good?

  • hegesias

    I think I’ve only been called about three times in the six or so years I’ve been on the do not call list.

  • Guest

    Puh-lease. What difference does it make if they can tap your phone instead of your PC? This is window-dressing to give pathetic Dems political cover, as they and the Teabaggers flush the rest of the Constitution (See Patriot Act extension) down the toilet! Wake up sheeple!

  • HelenRainier

    It seems an easy way to fix this problem would be to require that people have to “opt in” as opposed to having to “opt out.”

  • HelenRainier

    I use a program called Win Patrol. It “catches” cookies before they are embedded on your hard drive and you have the option to delete or save those cookies you want to delete or save. It is a freeware program and I have used it for over 10 years now.

  • Anonymous

    “Dem introduces ‘Do Not Track Me Online’ privacy bill”

    Anyone want to bet if this legislation is gonna work as well as the Do Not Call Registry?

  • http://twitter.com/get_privacy privacy man

    try Breadcrumbs Privacy Software, its a cross-browser solution, that make trackers opt-in instead you trying to opt-out. With Breadcrumbs software you can fool trackers and let them know they are fooled if they will track you without permission.

  • http://twitter.com/get_privacy privacy man

    There is a technological solution for that, take matters to your own hand and stop trackers

  • ce2756

    I suppose we’ll have to register with the US.gov tracking so they can make sure no one else tracks us. This is obviously another tack to enable the government to monitor us. Without tracking, how else can they make sure we’re not being tracked?