Consumer Reports discusses statements by Federal Trade Commission Jon Leibowitz concerning Do Not Track proposals — these would allow consumers to restrict the data gathered by Web sites and marketers on the consumers’ online browsing or purchases:
There’s no Do Not Track provision in the Commercial Privacy Bill of Rights Act, legislation introduced yesterday by Sen. John Kerry (D, Mass.) and Sen. John McCain (R, Ariz.). But Federal Trade Commission chairman Jon Leibowitz is confident that his agency’s call for widespread implementation of Do Not Track will happen without legislation.
“Companies want to do the right thing, and stay on the right side of consumers,” Leibowitz told us during an interview at Consumer Reports’ headquarters in Yonkers, NY, today. “So maybe we won’t need legislation.
“We’re happy to see that [Do Not Track] has resonated this much not just with the public and consumers, but with industry,” he added.
Opt-out controls will also need to be “persistent,” meaning that once consumers choose to opt out, they should remain out unless they decide to opt back in. “You don’t want to be able to exercise an option and then have it vanish in a week,” Leibowitz said.