FTC chief cites Google for being Do Not Track holdout

In a recent interview with Politico, Leibowitz said that Google is a laggard on Do Not Track. He cited Apple’s recent announcement that it would put a Do Not Track tool in its Safari browser as a positive step. “So that gives you Apple, Microsoft and Mozilla” with Do Not Track tools in their browsers, he added.

Last December, the FTC proposed implementation of a Do Not Track mechanism for web browsers to protect consumers from having data collected regarding their online searching and browsing activities.

Apparently, Google’s “Keep My Opt-Outs” browser extension for its Chrome browser, which is designed to enable consumers to opt out of being tracked for online behavioral advertising (OBA), does not satisfy Leibowitz’s definition of a Do Not Track tool.

As Infosecurity noted in January, a drawback to the Google opt-out method is that not all ad networks are participating. But Google said that the top 15 largest ad networks do allow web users to opt out of OBA tracking.

“We continue to offer the Keep My Opt-Outs plug-in for Chrome … which already works to permanently opt users out of most ad profiling,” a Google spokesman told Computerworld.

Jonathan Mayer with Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet and Society (CIS) is one of three researchers who crafted the newest iteration of the Do Not Track technology. Mayer told Computerworld that Google is being “deceptive” about calling its Keep My Opt-Outs plug-in a Do Not Track tool. “It’s not opt-out for privacy, it’s opt-out of tracking ads. They’re saying, ‘We won’t show you the ads, but we’ll still collect the data.’”

What’s Hot on Infosecurity Magazine?