The Obama administration and the technology industry have touted the creation of a “Do Not Track” button to help consumers protect their privacy online, but the government and advertisers are not on the same page about what the button will do.
The Federal Trade Commission first proposed a Do Not Track button in 2010. The concept is modeled on the agency’s popular “Do Not Call” list, which allows consumers to opt out of receiving telemarketing calls.
FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz urged Web companies to voluntarily set up a system for users to opt out of online tracking and warned that legislation could be necessary if they failed to act.
Last month, all of the major Web browsers promised to create a Do Not Track feature, and the Digital Advertising Alliance, a coalition of advertising trade groups, said that by the end of the year, they would stop displaying targeted ads to users who had selected the feature in their browsers.