Submission Number: 00006
Received: 12/1/2010 3:18:08 PM
Commenter: Brian Lane
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Initiative: A Preliminary FTC Staff Report on "Protecting Consumer Privacy in an Era of Rapid Change: A Proposed Framework for Businesses and Policymakers"
Attachments: No Attachments
In thinking about, "The proposed report also suggests implementation of a 'Do Not Track' mechanism".
I would like to add that even if it is a "persistent setting on a consumers' browser" that does not inhibit or restrict the ISP from tracking and reselling such data.
1. In first reading it looks as if the restriction is set to the individual B-2-C sites, such as amazon.com or propools.com. There does not appear to be any language or anything addressing what the ISP does with their customer's data. Meaning, any ISP can track/measure which websites their customers are browsing to. Then it's the ISP who can become the reseller of such data to Mail Groups, etc. Then it's still the same problem as the website doing it, it's just one step removed.
2. There may be ways in which passing data back to a particular web site may be beneficial and not doing so, harmful to the consumer. For example, if someone were to search for above ground pools and their IP location not be passed back to companies like Google then they would not get the side bar link of http://www.propools.com/Above_Ground_Pools.php which may just happen to be local for them. And this may be what they're looking for, the just haven't realized it yet.
Restricting data collection is in part a good thing but also bad, as this is what drives a lot of business and business growth.
If the command to "Not Track" is in the browser, what happens when it's a household or publicly used computer?
What if one user doesn't want their data tracked and the other does?
Should individual users have a unique identifier, like an SSN does?
Because the access points to the internet can be many people through a single point, there should be a way to differentiate. Though I don't have the precise answer, I do have opinion of it.
Just like there's the National Do Not Call Registry (www.donotcall.gov), a solution may lie somewhere within this type of framework.
I applaud the intent of such an undertaking and would be more than willing to assist in any way I can for the promotion of consumerism and standardized data practices.
I yield my remaining 1778 characters to the consumer. Hah, 1778 What happened then? ;)