FTC Issues Privacy Report, Calls for Do-Not-Track Tool

The Federal Trade Commission on Monday released the long-awaited final version of its report on online consumer privacy, issuing a set of recommendations broadly consistent with an earlier draft, including a call for a do-not-track tool that would enable users to opt out of data collection and targeted marketing programs on the Web.

With its latest report, the FTC continues to prevail on members of the Internet and advertising industries to develop meaningful, broadly adopted codes of conduct to provide consumers with more insight about what information is being collected and how it is being used, as well as tools to limit access to that data such as the do-not-track option that the leading browser makers have endorsed.

The report presses three themes that could be described as best practices for businesses operating on the Internet:

1. Privacy should be incorporated into new products and services by design.

2. Businesses should provide consumers with simplified ways to control their information.

3. Corporate data collection practices should be transparent to the public.