The FCC Won’t Force Websites to Honor “Do Not Track” Requests



/ 3 years ago

fcc petition do not track requests

Non-profit organization Consumer Watchdog has recently filed a petition to the FCC and asked it to force “edge providers” to respect all “Do Not Track” requests. The websites mentioned in the petition include Netflix, Google, Facebook, YouTube, Pandora and LinkedIn, all of which offer some of the most popular services on the internet. Just in case you weren’t aware, even though we have the option to send “Do Not Track” requests to these websites in order to protect our privacy, they can actually ignore these requests completely. Unfortunately, the petition in question was not passed, which means that we still have to put up with this issue for now. Consumer Watchdog’s request was largely based on Section 222 of the Communications Act, which requires internet service providers to protect users’ data. The group wrote the following in the petition:

“Many consumers are as concerned — or perhaps even more worried — about the online tracking and data collection practices of edge providers. Because activities by edge providers pose the same threat to widespread broadband adoption as any privacy practice of broadband Internet access service providers, the Commission should, in addition to the CPNI rules it intends to adopt, promulgate rules protecting the unauthorized use of consumers’ personal information by requiring edge providers to honor “Do Not Track” Requests.”

Apparently, the FCC is still trying to figure out how to apply Section 222 to internet service providers, which is why the group’s request has been dismissed. The president of Consumer Watchdog, Jamie Court, has expressed his disappointment regarding the decision:

“It’s outrageous that Google and Facebook will not have to protect our private information in the same way that AT&T and Verizon will have to under pending FCC rules.”


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