Barton, Markey disappointed industry group ignoring “Do Not Track,” putting “profits over privacy”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Bi-Partisan Privacy Caucus co-Chairs Joe Barton (R-Texas) and Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) expressed disappointment at Tuesday’s announcement by the Digital Advertising Alliance that it is urging members to ignore Microsoft’s new “Do Not Track” default. The lawmakers issued the following statement:

“Privacy is an issue that affects everyone, and the Digital Advertising Alliance’s announcement made clear that it puts profits over privacy.  If consumers want to be tracked online, they should have to opt-in to be tracked, instead of the other way around.  This is why we are disappointed to hear the Digital Advertising Alliance insist that it will not honor Microsoft’s “Do Not Track” default and will not penalize companies that ignore it.
“While we appreciate the efforts industry has taken to develop a ‘Do Not Track’ signal, we have long endorsed a standard that allows consumers to affirmatively choose whether to permit collection of their personal information and targeting of advertisements. Until we have stronger privacy laws in place that mandate a company adhere to a consumer’s preference, especially for children and teens, consumers and their personal information will remain at risk.”

This summer, the lawmakers sent a letter to the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) urging the group to embrace a global standard for ‘Do Not Track’ technology and applauding Microsoft’s leadership in consumer choice.

In May 2011, Reps. Markey and Joe Barton (R-Tex.) introduced the “Do Not Track Kids Act of 2011”, legislation that amends the CHildren's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) to extend, enhance and update the provisions relating to the collection, use and disclosure of children’s and teenagers’ personal information. The bi-partisan legislation also establishes new protections for the personal information of children and teens.