FCC Will Not Force ‘Edge Providers’ To Honor ‘Do Not Track’

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On Friday, the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) dismissed a petition – related to the ‘Do Not Track’ feature – filed by California-based consumer advocacy group Consumer Watchdog. The group had requested the agency to order bigwig Internet firms to honor ‘Do Not Track’ signals from the customers’ browsers.

In its petition filed at the FCC, Consumer Watchdog had pointed out that some of the Internet’s biggest firms – which the group has termed as ‘Edge providers’ – do not honor the ‘Do Not Track’ signals which they receive from the consumers’ browsers.

The consumer advocacy group had, in its petition, specifically singled out popular websites like Google, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Netflix, and Pandora as ‘Edge providers,’ defining them as companies which provide "content, applications, services, and devices accessed over or connected to broadband Internet access service."

The group, via its petition, wanted the FCC to force the Edge providers to honor the ‘Do Not Track’ signals, by applying the privacy regulations which have been outlined under Section 222 of the Communications Act to websites.

However the FCC dismissed Consumer watchdog’s petition on November 6, and asserted in its “unequivocal” order that it will not enforce ‘Do Not Track’ on the so-called Edge providers because it is “pending adoption of rules to govern broadband Internet access service in a separate rulemaking proceeding.”

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