FCC won’t force Google and Facebook to stop tracking you

“U.S. regulators rejected an effort on Friday to force Google, Facebook and other popular web sites to honor ‘Do Not Track’ requests from users, in a setback for digital privacy advocate,” Dustin Volz reports for Reuters.

“The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) dismissed a petition that would have required Internet giants to let consumers opt out of having their online activity tracked,” Volz reports. “The decision secured a win for Silicon Valley businesses that rely on monetizing reams of personal data.”

“The FCC said it ‘has been unequivocal in declaring that it has no intent to regulate edge providers,’ or companies that provide content and services over the Internet,” Volz reports. “Digital privacy advocates argue consumers should be allowed to submit ‘Do Not Track’ requests to tell a website not to collect information about their online browsing habits.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: Among the recommendations in the FTC’s 2010 preliminary staff report is a proposal that consumers be given a simple “Do Not Track” mechanism that would allow them to choose whether they want to allow websites to collect information about their Internet activity and use it to deliver targeted advertisements and for other purposes. The report recommends a mechanism that would be practical, and would probably involve the placement of a persistent setting, similar to a cookie, on the consumer’s browser signaling the consumer’s choices. Unlike the FTC’s Do Not Call Registry, which allows consumers to opt out of receiving most telemarketing calls, the Do Not Track mechanism would not require the government to compile a list of numbers. The Commission has not voted yet on whether to support this idea, and it is still considering public comments on the report.

More info: https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/media-resources/protecting-consumer-privacy/do-not-track

[Attribution: NY Post. Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Lynn Weiler” for the heads up.]


    1. Protect yourself. First, avoid the main Google and Facebook pages and apps. But that is not enough. Add the anti-Google extensions to your browser, because Google trackers are on the majority of websites. But that is still not enough – use private browsing in Safari. But Google has been known to cheat and bypass security measures. So, for even better protection, consider an anonymizing web service.

      If world governments are going to sell-out to businesses and spy services, then it is up to us to implement steps to protect ourselves. Blockers, anonymizers, encryption, and every other legal step to make it more difficult for the data aggregators.

      1. Steve Gibson, of the ‘Security Now!’ podcast, frequently measures the amount of data downloaded with ECMAScript (‘JavaScript’) ON versus OFF. He consistently finds that the extra advertising and tracking crap downloaded is MANY times the size of the source web page. It varies with website.

        MDN is good test subject/example. I wish they’d classy-up some of the ads around here. They already know my opinion on the situation.

  1. I don’t know what everyone is complaining about. I personally LOVE our Google/Facebook overloads. Very happy! Very very . . . very happy. Honest. Really. No complaints here what so ever! 😳

  2. Kim.com and MegaInternet (sp?) might be the answer.

    It requires people to link up their phones into a big supercomputer where the unused power of your phones’ processor is put to use by MI. Not too sure about more details, maybe others can expand.

  3. Actually I cannot believe what I was reading!

    Of course a government known and prone to track is not going to ask a business to stop tracking when they both benefit so well from the practice.

  4. Just look at who sponsored those “startups” way back when and you will see why they will not generate a do-not-track process to protect privacy. The FCC/NSA/CIA needs to be reminded as to who pays for their services.

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