Two-Thirds of Americans Object to Online Tracking

This is the type of issue we’ll see a lot more of.  I don’t know what the answer.  I don’t trust big companies, but neither do I trust big government.  I think it’s probably inevitable that privacy will slip away.  It will be up to private citizens to do what they can.

New York Times

Two-Thirds of Americans Object to Online Tracking
By STEPHANIE CLIFFORD

ABOUT two-thirds of Americans object to online tracking by advertisers — and that number rises once they learn the different ways marketers are following their online movements, according to a new survey from professors at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of California, Berkeley.

 

Kyle Cassidy

[…]The topic may be technical, but it has become a hot political issue. Privacy advocates are telling Congress and the Federal Trade Commission that tracking of online activities by Web sites and advertisers has gone too far, and the lawmakers seem to be listening. Representative Rick Boucher, Democrat of Virginia, wrote in an article for The Hill last week that he planned to introduce privacy legislation. And David Vladeck, head of consumer protection for the F.T.C., has signaled that he will examine data privacy issues closely.

Marketers are arguing that advertising supports free online content. Major advertising trade groups proposed in July some measures that they hoped would fend off regulation, like a clear notice to consumers when they were being tracked.

The data in this area, however, has been largely limited to company-financed research or Internet-based research, which survey experts say they believe is not representative of all Americans. So the study — among the first independent surveys to examine this issue — has attracted widespread interest.