Survey Says: Consumers Confused About Online Tracking

Author:Ms Amy Malone
Profession:Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.

Amid the chatter regarding the elections,the Berkeley Center for Law and Technology recently released a report on Americans' views of "Do Not Track".They found that 87% of the 1,200 people surveyed had never heard of Do Not Track.The Do Not Track regulations that privacy groups began advocating for over 5 years ago calls for an opt-out mechanism that would allow people to opt-out once from all behavioral advertising.The Federal Trade Commission supported this measure and in 2010 they offered testimony to Congress stating that industry self-regulation has fallen short and that legislation may be the best course for a uniform approach.

While the government, privacy advocates and the ad industry sort out the details, it's time to focus on users. The survey report demonstrates a clear need for user education as almost half of those surveyed answered "don't know" to survey questions about online tracking and sharing of information that is collected.Those surveyed that answered the questions often gave the wrong answers.For example, almost half of those surveyed said that if a company wants to follow your internet use across multiple sites on the internet it must first obtain your permission.In addition, 25 % of those surveyed thought they had a right to require websites to delete the information the website has about them and 22%...

To continue reading