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Lawmakers Weigh Online Do-Not-Track Law

The Do-Not-Call list for telemarketers has been a hit with the public. So why not craft a similar opt-out mechanism for online marketing.

Because the Internet and the telephone are fundamentally different, that's why. Even the Federal Trade Commission, which is advocating a do-not-track mechanism so privacy-conscious consumers can opt out of online tracking, acknowledges that such an approach would have to allow for flexibility, that all tracking data isn't the same, and that the government wouldn't even have to manage the opt-out apparatus, so long as it had oversight authority.

But new powers for the FTC would require an act of Congress, and lawmakers gathered on Thursday as the session draws to a close to discuss what such a law might look like. eSecurity Planet reports on the latest twists and turns in the online privacy debate in Washington.

WASHINGTON -- A House panel Thursday morning took up the question of whether a law establishing a so-called "do-not-track" mechanism to set limits on how much personal information Web companies can collect is needed to protect consumer privacy online.

The hearing of the House Energy and Commerce Committee's consumer protection subcommittee comes just a day after the Federal Trade Commission released a draft report advocating a Web-wide opt-out mechanism patterned after the popular Do Not Call registry that restricts the activities of telemarketers.

Read the full story at eSecurity Planet:
House Panel Mulls 'Do-Not-Track' Online Privacy Bill