back to article Do-Not-Track laws gain US momentum

A national law limiting information businesses can gather on consumers online looks increasingly likely, with Senator John Rockefeller the latest politician to jump on bandwagon for do-not-track legislation. The chairman of the powerful US senate commerce committee plans to introduce a bill next week that will require companies …

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Anonymous Coward

NO to an opt-out..

YES to an OPT-IN

Default should be not to track UNLESS permission is given.

But it's better than nothing.

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Stop

Some would argue that merely visiting a web site...

... construes "having an established business relationship."

But that argument doesn't hold water; there's nothing stopping me from browsing my Public Library without a library card, or wandering through my neighbourhood Dixons without cash or credit card.

Now, if I want to check out a library book, I'll need a library card. And if I want to buy that item at Dixons, and it costs more than a few quid, I'll probably need to fish out my bank card. Both of which are methods used to track customers and their transactions, and on the whole are probably necessary for getting the job done properly.

However, the legislation itself is cumbersome and unnecessary. What's needed is more (or better) primary and secondary education on how to protect your privacy when trawling the Internet, and better distribution of information relating to tools that can help you do that.

For example, we all know that Mozilla Firefox is a pretty popular browser, but I doubt even 20% of Firefox's users know that an extension called "BetterPrivacy" can help curtail the usefulness of cookies stored as Adobe Flash LSOs.

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Heart

Imagine That

If Google, AOL, and Yahoo are against it then the bill's authors must have gotten it right. If they supported it you would know for certain it was toothless. Just tell me DoubleClick opposes it too for the golden seal of approval.

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Anonymous Coward

What year are you in?

DoubleClick has already been assimilated into Google following its purchase in 2007.

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FAIL

"Established business relationship"? P'wah, hah

So, who exactly gets to define what an "established business relationship" is? Bingo. That pretty much fucks the whole thing up right there.

About a year ago, for my wife's birthday, I bought her a practice "lap snare" from Musician's Friend, and have bought nothing from them since -- but they've still been spamming the living shit out of me ever since. Luckily, my standard practice is to have a couple of "throwaway" gmail addresses for just such an occasion so I'm not stuck having to scrape that shit out of my regular mailbox, but, still...

Plus, the law establishes an opt-out policy for something that should really be opt-in. Jeezus, what's the goddamn' point?

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Pint

CubeSpeak

"Google is the only browser manufacture to have individually come out against California's proposed law, signing it's corporate name to a letter to state politicians claiming the bill "gratuitously" singles out advertising companies for special regulation."

CubeSpeak for those times when "DoubleSpeak" falls a little just a little short.

It has occurred to Google that criminals are "gratuitously" singled out for sentencing every day ... Right ?

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Sorry...

'"gratuitously" singles out advertising companies for special regulation.' Excellent, now stop your moaning and play fair. Get the message that people do NOT want advertising and tracking.

In another vein. I'm wondering what this means for companies involved in spy/adware?

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Heart

Oops, missed one.

Still being nice - I missed one!

"Google is the only browser manufacture to have individually come out against California's proposed law, signing it's corporate name..."

"Google is the only browser manufacturer to have individually come out against California's proposed law, signing its corporate name..."

Extra "arrrr" on the end of manufacture. Because piracy and grammar can be friends.

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They can't make it opt in

Because that would pretty much break the internet overnight, given that most of it is paid for by advertising and that advertisers aren't going to pay anything like the current rates for untargetted adverts.

Opt out means most people won't and the web can limp on.

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Anonymous Coward

I just don't see the problem with Opt-in.

Do I care that the internet is driven by advertising? Let me check - er, No, I don't think so.

Alternatively, can have two genuine identities, please. One to use if I want to opt-out and a standard one for all the crappy, advertising related stuff. Oh, and by the way, can I have my WiFi info back as well, please.

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Anonymous Coward

Opt-In should be the default

The system SHOULD default to opt-in. if commercial organizations don't like it, tough.

Ideally Google and their ilk should be required to delete all their existing data and start from scratch with opt-in required as a mandatory requirement. It would be interesting to see what happened.

If you want to track me, YOU pay ME every time you use my data.

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Anonymous Coward

Opt-In By Default

The system SHOULD default to opt-in. if commercial organizations don't like it, tough.

Ideally Google and their ilk should be required to delete all their existing data and start from scratch with opt-in required as a mandatory requirement. It would be interesting to see what happened.

If you want to track me, YOU pay ME every time you use my data.

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Alert

Opt-In ONLY

Up front un-checked, well explained and linked.

No hidden *fine print*.

The United Corporations and Churches of America [was USoA]

is the only country with a population stupid enough to have ever let Opt-Out into existance.

I am not a consumer of your *product* -- only that of food.

Boiled, fried, baked, and everything else and it is still tough and chewy.

Just like a B&M store, I chose what I want, give you paper with pictures of dead presidents.

You give me a receipt, just in case you sold me junk and I need to give it back to you.

See that is not so hard is it?

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Google's All Seeing Eye needs to be poked

..with a big stick.

About time too.

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Coat

The gall of some people...

"Google is the only browser manufacturer to have individually come out against California's proposed law, signing its name to a letter to state politicians claiming that the bill "gratuitously" singles out advertising companies for special regulation."

Damn right they should be singled out for special regulation. There's nothing gratuitous about it: they have chosen to invade peoples' privacy in the pursuit of selling them stuff, using means that in any other sphere of human activity could and would result in them being prosecuted and imprisoned for covert surveillance/cyberstalking/data theft* (*choose your favourite illegal activity and delete as appropriate). So tell us Google, why exactly *should* advertising have a special exemption from, for example, the The European Convention on Human Rights that states that all it's citizens have the right to a private life?

That's Google going through your coat pockets for any useful information that they might be able to use to sell you stuff...

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Untittled

I'm really split on this one. There's a lot of hyperbole in the discussion - folks stating that Google is stalking them, invading their privacy, etc. I'm a bit uncomfortable with the whole idea of having my internet wanderings tracked, but let me play devil's advocate for a bit:

When you access Google's services, you do so voluntarily - this could be compared to entering their place of business (arguable, sure). When you do so, they record your IP address, fairly compared to a brick-and-mortar store collecting your license plate data, either of which can be readily used to find your physical address - again with a fair analogy of using someone else's internet connection versus borrowing someone's vehicle. A brick-and-mortar store like, say, Wal-Mart, would be seen as a bit creepy for recording your license plate information. However, many retailers do technically do this - although it is not necessarily stored in a fashion so as to readily determine that you had visited the store at certain times, the video evidence of your vehicle being in the lot at a given time or times, does exist and can be used to produce such a record if needed.

Google also tracks where you go from their search engine - this could almost be likened to a store's cameras recording which direction you went, except that you are followed all the way to your next destination. That is a bit disturbing. So far, it's not much beyond simple observation - while I'm not entirely comfortable with it, I do not see a clear-cut violation of my right to privacy. I am purposefully sending data to Google with the knowledge that they will use the information I am sending them to make money.

Some of the behavior tracking through other Google services and sites might be creepy and invasive - I don't have a very good grasp of precisely what personal data they are obtaining and how. If someone can detail this for me, it might help me understand precisely why there is such strident objection to Google's practices.

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Google Dashboard

@Jacob Lipman If you have a google login you can find out what Google has on you by visiting the google dashboard: www.google.com/dashboard.

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Grenade

Doing that now out of curiosity, and guess what...?

After logging into my gmail account I was, for the first time ever, ASKED FOR MY GODDAMN' PHONE NUMBER so Google could (hah) "help me regain access to my account if I forget my password". Oh, and they made me have to really search closely for the "skip this" link -- in pale blue, in a line of fine print at the bottom of all the hoopla trying to steer me to the "add phone" part, making it look as if it were the only choice.

Jesus H. Bicycle-Riding Christ. How stupid do they think I look? Do I look like I rode the short bus to school? Do I look like one of those kids who had to wear a helmet in school? Bastards.

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