FTC 'do not track' plan would be a Google killer
December 2, 2010: 1:47 PM ET
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- The Federal Trade Commission proposed this week that consumers should have a "do not track" option for the Internet, similar to the "do not call" list that exists to block telemarketers.
Sounds great, right? With private data abuses and security lapses constantly popping up in the headlines, the idea of easily taking yourself off the radar might sound appealing.
But the FTC's proposal faces fierce opposition, from both the tech industry and many lawmakers. And if it were adopted, it would open a Pandora's box of unintended consequences.
The FTC's plan calls for a universal add-on piece of software that surfers could install on their Internet browsers to notify websites that they do not want any information about them to be collected. The proposal would need congressional approval before it could be enacted as an industry-wide mandate.
But those in the industry warn that such an overarching policy would put billions of e-commerce and advertising dollars at risk. It would also unleash all kinds of unintended and undesirable effects on the very consumers the FTC is trying to protect.