Curbs on advertiser Web tracking proposed

Feb. 12, 2011 at 11:38 AM

WASHINGTON, Feb. 12 (UPI) -- A U.S. congresswoman wants to restrict online advertisers' tracking of users' Web surfing.

The "Do Not Track" bill introduced Friday by Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., would let the Federal Trade Commission force advertisers to honor the wishes of users who choose not to be tracked for marketing, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The FTC would have 18 months to draft regulations ensuring that users could "effectively and easily" choose not to have their online behavior tracked or recorded.

Speier also introduced a companion bill giving consumers more control over financial information gathered by banks. It would bar financial institutions from sharing consumers' information without their express approval.

"These two bills send a clear message -- privacy over profit," Speier said. "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."

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