(credit: DoNotTrack.Us)
Websites will not be forced to honor consumers’ “Do Not Track” requests as the Federal Communications Commission today dismissed a petition that would have imposed new requirements on companies like Google and Facebook.
Consumer Watchdog had petitioned the FCC to “initiate a rulemaking proceeding requiring ‘edge providers’ (like Google, Facebook, YouTube, Pandora, Netflix, and LinkedIn) to honor ‘Do Not Track’ Requests from consumers.” The group’s proposed rule would prevent online services from requiring consumers to consent to tracking in exchange for accessing Web services, preventing online services from sharing personal information of users with third parties when consumers send Do Not Track requests.
When consumers enable the Do Not Track setting in their browsers, they send an HTTP header in an attempt to opt out of third-party tracking conducted by analytics services, advertising networks, and social platforms. Some companies have committed to honor Do Not Track requests, but they are mostly ignored. (Ars readers can visit this website to opt out of advertising network tracking.)
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