Risk
2/14/2011
10:03 AM
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Internet 'Do Not Track' Bill Introduced In Congress

Proposed legislation is designed to protect Web users' privacy, prevent advertisers from monitoring online usage.

Top 10 Government Stories Of 2010
(click image for larger view)
Slideshow: Top 10 Government Stories Of 2010

An Internet version of the popular "Do Not Call" telephone legislation took a step toward reality on Friday, when a California Democrat introduced legislation in Congress designed to let consumers block unwanted tracking of their information online.

Written by Rep. Jackie Speier, the "Do Not Track Me Online" bill authorizes the Federal Trade Commission to enact and enforce regulations that give consumers the right to bar organizations from tracking their activities as they use the Internet. Under the "Do Not Call" legislation, most advertisers were prevented from calling people who proactively signed up on a list of consumers who requested not to receive telemarketers' phone calls. Speier introduced a companion bill, the Financial Information Privacy Act, to allow consumers to control the sharing of their financial information.

"These two bills send a clear message -- privacy over profit," Speier said, in a statement. "Consumers have a right to determine what if any of their information is shared with big corporations and the federal government must have the authority and tools to enforce reasonable protections."

Consumer Watchdog, a non-profit and non-partisan advocacy group, praised the proposed law.

"Consumers should have the right to choose if their private information -- from shoe size, to health concerns, to religious beliefs -- is collected, analyzed, and profiled by companies tracking activities online. Do Not Track is the simple way for consumers to say 'no thanks' to being monitored while they surf the Web," said Carmen Balber, Washington director for Consumer Watchdog, in a statement.

Many Americans have concerns about online privacy, according to a Consumer Watchdog study, conducted in summer 2010 of 1,000 likely general election voters. At that time, Google made international headlines, as governments in countries such as the United Kingdom and Germany, as well as in a number of states such as Connecticut, scrutinized the company's collection of personal information using its Street View cars.

While Google received an overall 74% favorable rating, nearly two-thirds of those polled (65%) say the so-called Wi-Spy scandal is one of the things that "worries them most" or a "great deal," with another 20% saying it "raises some concern" when considering Internet issues, found the study.

In October 2010, Facebook and MySpace came under fire when the Wall Street Journal discovered many of the social media sites' gaming partners were sharing user information with advertisers. Last Thursday, Google published in Europe a filing for a social networking facial-recognition patent, InformationWeek reported Monday.

"Right now much of the online advertising market is based on unauthorized spying on consumers," said John Simpson, director of Consumer Watchdog's Inside Google Project, in a statement. "A Do Not Track mechanism would give consumers better control of their information and help restore their confidence in the Internet. That's a win-win for consumers and business. What kind of lasting business can be built on snooping on your customers?"

In the Consumer Watchdog poll, 90% of respondents support the concept of creating more laws to protect the privacy of personal information. Of those, 67% said it is "very important" to do so, the study said. Of those surveyed, 86% favored a "make me anonymous" button and 84% liked a rule that prevented online companies from tracking personal data or Web searches without users' explicit, written approval, the study found.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading, September 16, 2014
Malicious software is morphing to be more targeted, stealthy, and destructive. Are you prepared to stop it?
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2012-1032
Published: 2014-09-17
Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in the Euroling SiteSeeker module 3.x before 3.4.5 for EPiServer allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via unspecified vectors. NOTE: the provenance of this information is unknown; the details are obtained solely from third party inf...

CVE-2012-1417
Published: 2014-09-17
Multiple cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities in Local Phone book and Blacklist form in Yealink VOIP Phones allow remote authenticated users to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via the user field to cgi-bin/ConfigManApp.com.

CVE-2012-1506
Published: 2014-09-17
SQL injection vulnerability in the updateStatus function in lib/models/benefits/Hsp.php in OrangeHRM before 2.7 allows remote authenticated users to execute arbitrary SQL commands via the hspSummaryId parameter to plugins/ajaxCalls/haltResumeHsp.php. NOTE: some of these details are obtained from th...

CVE-2012-1507
Published: 2014-09-17
Multiple cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities in OrangeHRM before 2.7 allow remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via the (1) newHspStatus parameter to plugins/ajaxCalls/haltResumeHsp.php, (2) sortOrder1 parameter to templates/hrfunct/emppop.php, or (3) uri parameter to index...

CVE-2012-2583
Published: 2014-09-17
Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in Mini Mail Dashboard Widget plugin 1.42 for WordPress allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via the body of an email.

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio