The FCC has rejected the privacy advocacy group Consumer Watchdog's petition to compel Internet companies like Google, Facebook and ad providers not to ignore the "Do Not Track" setting in many browsers, which if ignored will be illegal.
"Do Not Track" was created as a standard signal which browsers can send along with other data when visiting a website. When detected, it is intended to inform the visited websites that users do not want their Internet activity to be tracked and shared with third parties, such as advertisers and other online tracking companies.
While the FCC enacted, earlier this year, strict rules providing user privacy protection, it explained that enforcing "Do Not Track" falls outside its jurisdiction. The endorsement of the "Do Not Track" setting by the FCC could have been a powerful regulatory tool that improves users’ privacy. However, for now, the response to a user’s “Do Not Track” setting by websites and third parties, remains voluntary.