Earlier this week, FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez spoke to members of the ad industry, urging them to provide “effective and meaningful privacy protection” to consumers with respect to online tracking. Chairwoman Ramirez’s position reportedly surprised, and even frustrated, some attendees by implying that the Digital Advertising Alliance's self-regulatory program does not do enough in the space. She said that consumers feel “unease” with online tracking, and that they’re still awaiting “an effective and functioning do-not-track system,” which she characterized as being “long overdue.”
Last month, Chairwoman Ramirez expressed some optimism that a solution would be reached among stakeholders if they use a “consensus-based approach.” As the W3C Tracking Protection Group continues its attempts to work toward a solution, though, frustration may be setting in. Some stakeholders, such as Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), may feel that the time for legislation has come; earlier this week he announced that he will hold a hearing with the Senate Commerce Committee next week to push his do-not-track legislation. For more information about that hearing, please click here.