FTC Lauds 'Do Not Track' Web Technology in Final Privacy Report

Paul Lilly

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued its final report on protecting consumer privacy as the agency continues to call on companies to adopt best privacy practices and give American consumers greater control over the collection and use of their personal data. FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz said many companies have already adopted the agency's final recommendations and is confident consumers will have an easy to use and effective Do Not Track option by the end of the year.

In the latest revision, the FTC notes it received more than 450 public comments in response to the preliminary report from various stakeholders, including businesses, privacy advocates, technologists, and individual consumers, which helped shape the current framework. Based on those comments, the FTC made revised recommendations in three main areas. They include:

  1. A tighter scope set forth by the framework that seeks to address concerns about undue burdens on small businesses. The final framework doesn't apply to companies that collect only non-sensitive data from fewer than 5,000 consumers a year, but only if such businesses refrain from sharing that data with third parties.
  2. A modified approach to how companies should provide consumers with privacy choices.
  3. The FTC recommends that Congress consider enacting targeted legislation to provide greater transparency for, and control over, the practices of information brokers.

The report, which you can read in its entirety here (PDF) , was approved by the Commission with a 3-1 vote.

Image Credit: FTC

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