Fact Card : Do-Not-Track Mechanism


Online tracking is a process of collecting and recording a user’s browsing habits. Online tracking has been a controversy, mainly about users’ privacy. The discussion about online tracking and its countermeasures has picked up a lot of opinions. In December of 2010, FTC staff members issued a draft report endorsing Do Not Track as one possible new approach for handling users’ online tracking.


FTC argues that if Do Not Track mechanism is enacted then it will : 1) make privacy protection a more important part of business process; 2) require greater transparency about information the data companies are collecting and exactly what they’re doing with it; and 3) enable consumers to control their own privacy via a Do Not Track system.

But still there are some refusal, especially from online advertising firms, arguing that without the ongoing support of an ever-improving advertising infrastructure, consumers would no longer receive relevant and useful offers or enjoy free content and services across the Internet. And they say that research shows that consumers actually prefer more relevant ads, a preference that would be eliminated by DNT.

 so, here’s a fact card about this mechanism (click for a larger version) :


  1. Federal Trade Commission, “FTC Staff Issues Privacy Report, Offers Framework for Consumers, Businesses, and Policymakers,” (December 1, 2010). <http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2010/12/privacyreport.shtm> )
  2. Electronic Frontier Foundation, “How Online Tracking Companies Know Most of What You Do Online (and What Social Networks Are Doing to Help Them),” (September 21, 2009). <http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2009/09/online-trackers-and-social-networks>
  3. Electronic Privacy Information Centre, “Online Tracking and Behavioral Profiling,” (accessed September 16, 2011). <http://epic.org/privacy/consumer/online_tracking_and_behavioral.html#char>
  4. Bloomberg Businessweek, “Do Not Track Me,” (accessed September 16, 2011). <http://www.businessweek.com/debateroom/archives/2011/01/_pro_get_your_nose.html>
  5. iMedia Connection, “The two sides of the Do-Not-Track controversy” (December 14, 2007). <http://www.imediaconnection.com/content/17760.asp>
  6. Narayanan, Arvind, “There is no such thing as anonymous online tracking” (July 28, 2011). <http://cyberlaw.stanford.edu/node/6701>
  7. Universal Web Tracking Opt Out, (accessed September 16, 2011). <http://donottrack.us/>
Fact Card : Do-Not-Track Mechanism

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