Washington: The much-awaited "Do Not Track" mechanism report has finally been outlined by the Federal Trade Commission in order to protect the interests of Internet consumers.
The mechanism will ensure that consumers know and understand what information is being collected and used about them. The guidelines would prevent third parties from collecting sensitive information about users such health and financial data, a newspaper reported.
"The FTC wants to help ensure that the growing, changing, thriving information marketplace is built on a framework that promotes privacy, transparency, business innovation and consumer choice,” said FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz in a release.
‘Do Not Track’ would provide a blanket technological solution for users who don’t want data collected about them for advertising.
The FTC said the mechanism would have to be established by legislation or potentially “robust, enforceable self-regulation” by advertisers and Web companies.
Leibowitz said in a call with reporters that Google, Apple and Mozilla have all experimented with Do Not Call browser technology.
“Such a mechanism would ensure that consumers would not have to exercise choices on a company-by-company or industry-by-industry basis, and that such choices would be persistent,” the FTC said in its report.
Online retailers, social networks, advertisers and online newspapers and magazines would have to clearly explain to visitors of their sites how information is being collected and used and to present users with more options on privacy settling.
“In developing the proposed framework, staff was cognizant of the need to protect consumer privacy interests effectively, while also encouraging the development of innovative new products and services that consumers want,” the FTC wrote in the report.
Senator John Kerry said he would introduce a privacy bill that would give the FTC more rule-making authority to carry out some of its recommendations.
Kerry`s bill would provide greater protection of information that could personally identify an Internet user.
"Information collection is now a routine part of commerce, but proper stewardship of information is as important as how it is collected," Kerry said.