If you work in the digital world and have a pulse, chances are you’ve seen the recent commotion regarding the Federal Trade Commission’s proposed “Do Not Track” requirement for websites. On its surface the idea is not particularly bad — consumers should have a reasonable mechanism to protect their identity online if they so choose, even if their reasons for wanting to “protect” said identity are not well understood.
Are We Taking Privacy too Far?
While many in the digital measurement space have loudly proclaimed that consumers already do have these protections, few are willing to defend the current implementation of P3P in modern web browsers as a “reasonable mechanism.”
The number one problem I have with the FTC proposal, and trust me, I have many, is that the conversation has become completely lopsided in favor of privacy advocates, fear mongers and other worry-warts.
Perhaps this is because of the clear bias flowing through one of the major sources on online tracking — the Wall Street Journal — or perhaps more simply because people really do fear what they do not understand (and if you read the comment streams, it is clear that people do not understand the Internet.