A Preliminary FTC Staff Report on "Protecting Consumer Privacy in an Era of Rapid Change: A Proposed Framework for Businesses and Policymakers"
Having just read the testimony by Joseph Pasqua, VP of Research at Symantec, I would like to add what I consider to be an important point. I am in complete agreement with Mr. Pacqua's premise that "Online privacy is not possible without online security." However, Mr. Pasqua seems concerned that a Do Not Track list may undermine internet security. It may be in conflict with certain online security practices, but it is important to not what Peiter Zatko, currently working for DARPA and formerly head of technology at Mr. Pasqua's company Symantec was quoted in the original edition of a Febuary 10th, 2010 CNet article that (and I am paraphrasing but I recommend asking Mr. Zatko directly) that the problem with working at Symantec was that there is an inherent conflict of interest. On the opne hand you have to produce an effective defense against security attacks, but on the other hand, you don't want to be overly effective for fear of putting yourself out of business. Now that he is at DARPA he says he is looking forward to trying to solve the challenge in an intellectually honest way. Thus there should be serious questioning as to the efficacy of the security methods Mr. Pasqua is afraid a Do Not Track approach would potentially limit. For instance, instead of tracking everyone's browsing and online activity with the hope of ferreting out fraud, perhaps a simpler and more effective measure would be to give users something akin to the "semi-random" number generating fobs online brokers give to their clients.