Debate over Do not Track technology heats up

The issue under debate and discussion at the ongoing, 3-day World Wide Web Consortium's Tracking Protection Working Group is over the Do Not Track technology that has been giving both privacy advocates and social media heads sleepless nights, reports ZDNet in a blog post. The debate over Do not Tracking technology rose ever since it had been discovered that user data was being used to track their whereabouts, quite without their knowledge and permission. The entire deal about the Do not Tracking technology now stands balancing precariously, waiting for the specifications for the Web Tracking Protection to better understand what the laws for the Do not Track technology would be. So on one side, there are a section of people promoting the idea of giving users the control over their data being collected and being able to declare that they do not want to be tracked.


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The report puts forth two key ideas, here - that of Do not Track and Do not Target. While Do not Track, as aforementioned would give users the control over the collection of their data, a slightly different in principle - Do Not Target will allow data collection, but will turn off targeted advertising that functions based on a user’s web surfing preferences. The 3-day gathering, reportedly will see members of the Tracking Protection Working Group come together, which include lawyers and academics. Representatives from Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, Apple, AT&T, the FTC, and other invited experts from privacy groups, such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Center for Digital Democracy will also be present.


While it has been one topic that has been widely reported, for those not in the know of the matter - the trouble over the tracking technology was that users felt that they were losing out on privacy. Websites,advertisers, among others use this technology to typically learn better about a user's web browsing behaviour. In doing so, details like sites visited, likes, dislikes and purchases are collected, which are then used to show target ads, products and services to the user. Quoting Jeffrey Chester, Executive Director of the Center for Digital Democracy (CDD), the report stated that, "I think this is a litmus test for how much industry is wiling to sit down with consumer and privacy groups to work out new approaches to protect consumers."


Only recently we reported about Yahoo!'s plans of a summer launch for their "Do not Track" button, which would help users set up their ad targeting preferences.

Published Date: Apr 11, 2012 06:27 pm | Updated Date: Apr 11, 2012 06:27 pm