Peninsula Rep. Sponsors ‘Do Not Track’ Online Privacy Bill

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SAN MATEO, CA (KCBS) — A “Do Not Track” bill was introduced in Congress Friday and consumer and privacy advocates are applauding the move.

The bill would give consumers the ability to choose whether or not to allow companies to monitor their behavior online.

“Every activity a consumer does online [like] searching for a news article, purchasing a pair of shoes, Googling health information, or researching their religion is collected and analyzed in profiles,” said Carmen Balber, Washington Director for Consumer Watchdog.

Balber said that very information is used to market products, and in more concerning ways, is used by insurance companies to decide whether to offer life insurance. Credit card companies decide where to charge a higher APR and employers decide whether to extend a job offer.

“Do Not Track Me is a simple way for consumers to say no thanks to being followed while they surf the web,” added Balber.

The legislation would simply direct the Federal Trade Commission to set guidelines for what “Do Not Track” means.

Consumer Watchdog believes it could be implemented by a simple click through an internet browser. The “Do Not Track” bill has been introduced in the House by Rep. Jackie Speier. Arkansas Senator Mark Pryor is also considering offering “Do Not Track” legislation.

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