A Preliminary FTC Staff Report on "Protecting Consumer Privacy in an Era of Rapid Change: A Proposed Framework for Businesses and Policymakers"
The goal: a simple way for the user to control whether data is collected from their browsing sessions. The FTC can encourage all browser companies to use the same design. Note: The idea of using 3d party-supplied "lists" that has been written up in the media is unworkable - imagine multiple lists by multiple list providers, each list being constantly updated, and the user being burdened with constantly importing long lists - and the users browser would have to read through the list each time the user went to a new site. Very confusing, inefficient. Instead, follow the already-established paradigm wherein each browser has a "settings" or "preferences" area. The user can (optionally) control Data Collection and Cookie settings in this area. If a given browser publisher is so "married" to their existing browser design regarding cookies and data collection, they can continue to use it, but they should be strongly urged to provide the "standardized" design - like the one below that is modelled on Opera. ***The FTC should force the control of what are called "flash cookies" to be effected from within the user's browser, in this same area where the cookies nad data collection options are set. The control of flash data collection should not require the user to go to the Adobe web site and adjust the settings from their web site. Using the UI paradigm from the Opera browser, this might work as follows: Radio button choices: 0 Accept Cookies 0 Accept Cookies Only from the Site I visit 0 Never Accept Cookies 0 Accept Flash Cookies 0 Accept Flash Cookies Only from the Site I visit 0 Never Accept Flash Cookies 0 Accept All Other Data Collection 0 Accept All Other Data Collection Only from the Site I visit 0 Never Accept Data Collection Checkbox choices: Delete new cookies when exiting the browser Ask me before accepting cookies Delete new flash cookies when exiting the browser Ask me before accepting flash cookies Delete New data that was collected when exiting the browser Ask me before accepting data to be collected Cookies/Data Collection Can be Controlled Per Site: Manage cookies, Manage Flash cookies, Manage Data Collection (these can be buttons) ** FTC should require all browsers to design a way for user to be able to select multiple cookies and/or data collection mechanisms and delete the selected them at once, rather than having to delete each one at a time. User may have accumulated many hundreds of items and desire to keep/allow only a few. The list that displays should include a "select all" check box at the top of the list, as well as a checkbox for each item in the list, with the ability to multiply or singly select, and delete.