Resources and Publications

"Do-Not-Track" Legislation: Is Now the Right Time?

December 2, 2010
| Testimony and Filings

On December 2, 2010, ITIF Senior Analyst Daniel Castro testified before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection about a "Do Not Track" proposal for online privacy. The proposal arose from calls for a national "Do Not Track" feature for the Internet that is modeled after the national "Do Not Call" Registry that applies to telemarketing. Its purpose would be to provide consumers with a single, centralized mechanism to opt out of all online profiling for targeted advertising. However, in his testimony, Castro explains that such a mandate, if widely adopted, would significantly harm the current funding mechanism for the Internet ecosystem, resulting in less free Internet content and fewer free services. In addition, it would be costly to implement, difficult to enforce, and result in more intrusive and less relevant advertising for consumers.