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Head of FTC supports Do Not Track

5/31/2012

On May 31, a prominent voice weighed in on the issue of Do Not Track technology.

At a conference in California, Federal Trade Commission Chairman Jon Liebowitz expressed his support for Do Not Track, according to TechCrunch. Liebowitz called Do Not Track a "pretty modest proposal for protecting consumer privacy," and said it will not spell the end of targeted online advertisements.

Do Not Track is a function enabled by a number of popular web browsers. Users can activate the function if they do not want their browsing history to be tracked via third-party cookies.

Critics of Do Not Track say that tracking users' habits enables a more personalized online experience, which maximizes the usefulness of the web. Proponents of Do Not Track frame it as a vital way of protecting privacy.

Liebowitz sided with the Do Not Track supporters, and said he knows prominent CEOs who share his viewpoint that it's more important for consumers to feel comfortable when using the internet than to present them with targeted ads, TechCrunch stated. Comfortable consumers will ultimately drive more internet commerce than users who feel their privacy is being violated, Liebowitz said.

In a recent update to its privacy policy and terms of use, Twitter explicitly addressed ways that users of the application can activate Do Not Track.