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Here Comes the Do Not Track List


No more cookies?!

A coalition of consumer privacy groups is expected to propose the online equivalent of the Do Not Call list, reports Advertising Age.

Groups including the Center for Democracy and Technology, Electronic Frontier Foundation and others, have announced a press conference for today. It coincides with the opening of hearings by the Federal Trade Commission into ad targeting and related online issues.

The groups are expected to propose changes to how advertisers disclose what sorts of information they're gathering about consumer's online behavior.

The use of cookies and other technology in ad targeting, they say, has violated people's right to privacy.

It's anticipated they will call for the end of cookies for tracking and ad delivery. They may also ask that ads carry a disclosure of what information is being collected, and allow users to opt out.

Opponents of such proposals say data is blind to identifiable information such as name or phone number. They say advertising pays for much of people's online experience, and that better tracking results in better ads.

Beating any new regulations to the punch, and surfing in front of the public relations wave, is AOL.

The company has announced that by year's end it will have an online database where users can register to opt out of having their information tracked.

AOL's site may also serve as an educational tool for advertisers, reports MediaBuyerPlanner. Its opt-out function will present consumers with an opportunity to share information about themselves in order to receive more relevant, targeted pitches.

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