A Preliminary FTC Staff Report on "Protecting Consumer Privacy in an Era of Rapid Change: A Proposed Framework for Businesses and Policymakers"
It is clear that consumers need better control over online privacy. An easy-to-use do-not-track mechanism is required and long overdue. Online companies have built layers of brokers that make it EXTREMELY difficult to opt out of tracking of online behavior. Privacy policies (even for for leading web sites) are very hard to understand and often just say that there may be 3rd party cookies etc on a site. The 3rd party's policies may be hard (if not impossible) to find and opt out of, even if you were willing to take the time and effort to avoid being tracked. Sites can change policies if/when they choose with little if any notification (e.g. Facebook's much maligned changes to make more of your information more public). Further, it is impossible to find out what data about you is in these databases. Consumers MUST be offered a UNIVERSAL (not site by site, as that just causes the hard-to-peel layers we have today) and easy-to-use opt-out mechanism.