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FTC Endorses “Do Not Track Me,” Calls For A New Privacy Framework

If you wonder if you are being followed online and if anything can be done about it, take a look at the just-out Federal Trade Commission report on online privacy A frightening amount of information is available about us online and the Federal Trade Commission has endorsed the notion of a “privacy by design” build-in for web browsers. The report suggests a new framework for online privacy is vital. The question of whether the government can compel online companies, that advertise us based on the information they collect, to give us the “do not track me” option is one for Congress to decide apparently. The FTC says it should happen, but not how it will. What’s key is that the findings of the year-long study are that we need more online privacy, a “Do Not Track Me” mechanism is desirable and we’re moving toward it. At Consumer Watchdog’s conference in DC on the future of online privacy, FTC Consumer Protection Chief David Vladeck gave an early-morning preview of the FTC position that reads true as an overview of the report. (The conference is being broadcast live now at ) Here is what Vladeck said: 1. We need to reduce burden on consumers. Consumers too many bear burdens for online privacy. The FTC approach is to build privacy into products and security at outset: “Privacy by design.” 2. We should greatly simplify consumer choice – consumers can focus on choices that really matter to them and should have choices that are meaningful. Self-regulation by industry is not working. 3. More consistent privacy policies – compare at a glance. Encourage competition on matters of privacy. Comparable privacy policies should be available. 4. Strong protections are needed for sensitive information like children’s identity, health, geolocation. The FTC opened the debate and said what’s needed. Now it’s up to Congress, industry and even the states to make use of the study they have provided. As a ballot measure backer who knows the public wants these protections, I for one am ready to move in California to make a “Do Not Track Me” mechanism mandatory. If Congress doesn’t act, we will go to the ballot. Vladeck said today he did not see a federal bar to state action. This is good news for privacy online. Today the FTC has said what needs to be done, even if they have failed to give us a clear blue print as to how it can be. Read the original article on The Huffington Post.
raisinghell Jamie Court is the author of The Progressive’s Guide to Raising Hell.

Will Patients Beat Blue Shield Again… This Time With the First Online Ballot Petition for Rate Regulation

Shouldn’t the CEOs of health insurance companies like Blue Shield have to sign under penalty of perjury that their rate hikes are justified? If the first online signature gathering for a ballot petition is successful, Californians will vote on that proposition in November, and are almost sure to approve. One year ago I stood at […] Read More..

California Democratic Lawmakers Revive Schwarzenegger Scam To Sell Off Historic State Properties in Order to Save Their Pay

California’s Democratic state lawmakers announced a budget plan to keep their paychecks coming that included one of the worst ideas Arnold Schwarzenegger had since impregnating his kids’ nanny. If lawmakers don’t pass a budget today, they lose their pay tomorrow. So Assembly Democrats have included in their hastily-assembled budget plan Schwarzenegger’s political love child, selling […] Read More..

Do-Not-Track-Online Goes On National Map With Rockefeller Bill

U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller did the American people a great favor today by introducing the Do-Not-Track-Online Act of 2011. iPhone and Android users should not have to worry about being spied on by their smart phones. We should be able to say no to Google and Facebook when they violate our privacy daily by tracking […] Read More..

Will the President Gridlock West LA as Prelude to Earth Day? He Should Read the Gas Station Signs

The email warnings are flying in West Los Angeles about how the President’s motorcade will once again gridlock afternoon rush hour. The cause: two mistimed, ill-placed Hollywood fundraisers on opposite sides of the traffic jam known as West LA. There’s probably no major city as pro-Obama as Los Angeles, or state so solidly in his […] Read More..

Google CEO for Commerce Secretary? How About Madoff for SEC?

The strong buzz in Washington, DC is that Google CEO Eric Schmidt is President Obama’s top choice for Commerce Secretary and an appointment is coming soon. The CEO who made billions collecting our personal information online and serving us up to advertisers, the guy who created online privacy problems, would head the federal agency responsible […] Read More..