A Preliminary FTC Staff Report on "Protecting Consumer Privacy in an Era of Rapid Change: A Proposed Framework for Businesses and Policymakers"
To whom it may concern: I am an engineer with sixteen years experience developing applications for the web, so I am familiar with and often despair at the substantial amount of information on-line tracking tools can gather on us as we use the internet. A do-not-track registry would be disruptive to internet business models that depend on advertising revenue, however, by removing the advertising subsidy, this does create an opportunity for business that can deliver value to citizens who want to pay for those services, and re-establishes the end user and not the advertiser as the ultimate customer. But we need to plan for what this means if services people were accustomed to receiving for "free" (email, social networking, blog hosting) have to collect subscription revenues. And if we pay for those services with a credit card, we still create data that can be used to track user behavior. In the longer term, I think the direction to go is regulation of data which businesses collect from our actions online. Our laws on this are scant in comparison to other locales. We need better rules on disclosure, sharing, and sale of that information. Thank you for your consideration of this important topic. Sincerely, Wm. E. Humphries CA