For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 
Contact: 

Mandy Simon, (202) 675-2312; media@dcaclu.org

FTC Releases Promising Report Urging Improved Internet Privacy Policies

WASHINGTON - The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a promising report today on consumer privacy advocating for the implementation of strong protections for Americans' online activity and urging Internet companies and other industries that handle personal information to create better privacy protections.

The FTC's report describes how browsers and websites can employ improved privacy features such as simplified privacy notices, and endorses an important privacy feature known as a "do not track" list. A "do not track" list would allow consumers to opt out of having their online activity tracked, stored and shared with private companies for targeted advertising use. The FTC also advocates that Internet users be given a clearer understanding of how and when their data is being collected. The Commerce Department is expected to issue its own report on Internet privacy in the coming weeks.

The American Civil Liberties Union supports the creation of a "do not track" list as it would establish a barrier against unwarranted surveillance and targeting of Americans. The practice of tracking and collecting consumers' online habits then aggregating that information with existing offline data allows for the creation of detailed profiles on every American. These profiles could then be shared with employers and the government. This type of surveillance infrastructure is a major invasion of privacy and may lead to the chilling of free speech and expression rights if consumers feel they should not visit certain web sites as their habits may be tracked.

The following can be attributed to Christopher Calabrese, ACLU Legislative Counsel:

SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT

The media landscape is changing fast

Our news team is changing too as we work hard to bring you the news that matters most.

Change is coming. And we've got it covered.

Please donate to our 2019 Mid-Year Campaign today.

"We are very pleased to see the FTC argue for more rigorous privacy standards for Americans' online activities. Day by day, Americans live more of their lives online, making purchases, paying bills and communicating with friends and loved ones, and Americans' online habits should not be the fodder for companies' advertising needs.

"The FTC's endorsement of a ‘do not track list,' in particular, would give Americans the chance to opt out of intrusive marketing tactics that violate their privacy and keep personal information out of the hands not only of marketers but also employers and the government.

"Congressional action is now needed. We hope the FTC's report will spur Congress to pass better and stronger protections for Americans' online privacy."  

###

We want a more open and sharing world.

That's why our content is free. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported.

All of our original content is published under Creative Commons—allowing (and encouraging) our articles to be republished freely anywhere. In addition to the traffic and reach our content generates on our site, the multiplying impact of our work is huge and growing as our articles flourish across the Internet and are republished by other large and small online and print outlets around the world.

Several times a year we run brief campaigns to ask our readers to pitch in—and thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Our 2019 Mid-Year Campaign is underway. Can you help? We can't do it without you.

Please select a donation method:



The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) conserves America's original civic values working in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in the United States by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

Share This Article

More in: