A Preliminary FTC Staff Report on "Protecting Consumer Privacy in an Era of Rapid Change: A Proposed Framework for Businesses and Policymakers"
I am in agreement with your impression that the Direct Marketing industry fails to self-regulate when it comes to consumer tracking, etc. I feel it is a personal violation for marketers to collect data on me while I am making purchases or exploring options. I see it as comparable to having a private investigator follow me from store to store in a brick-and-mortor environment. History demostrates, over and over, that commercial enterprises have only one driving force - to make money. Self-regulating is contrary to that goal and industry fails until forced to do so. Online marketers and servers would argue that consumers should opt out site by site - why should the online industry enjoy that option when telemarketers and direct mailers don't [DO NOT MAIL and DO NOT CALL lists are industry-wide.] I would also note that online marketers have not done an adequate job of disclosing to consumers their tracking practices - I've not seen a single etailer that has a comprehensive disclosure statement regarding their policies and procedures. They rely on consumer ignorance. I strongly support the FCC in limiting the stealth practices currently employed by onliners.