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FTC Paper Suggests No Tracking Option for Online Commerce 

December 2, 2010 -- The Federal Trade Commission issued a preliminary staff report calling for the creation of a “do not track” mechanism to allow consumers to choose whether to allow the collection of data regarding their online searching and browsing activities. The report concluded that industry efforts to address privacy through self-regulation have been too slow and failed to provide adequate and meaningful protection. “This proposal is intended to inform policymakers, including Congress, as they develop solutions, policies, and potential laws governing privacy, and guide and motivate industry as it develops more robust and effective best practices and self-regulatory guidelines,” said FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz. The report called for companies to have reasonable security for consumer data, limited collection and retention of such data, and reasonable procedures to promote data accuracy. FTC said the no tracking option for consumers would not alter such company practices as product and service fulfillment, improvements to services, fraud prevention, legal compliance, and first-party marketing. The report also recommended standardized notices that allow the public to compare information practices of competing companies and reasonable access to data that companies maintain about them. More information
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