The worthless “Do not track me act” introduced in Congress

Mashable today broke the news on the recently introduced DO NOT TRACK ME ONLINE ACT

As far as I can see, the only true benefit is for political gain for those that are introducing the bill. They are latching onto the recent studies that show consumers are worried about their privacy. The bill spells out some interesting exemptions. Like, the government can still track your behavior. Really, that’s no surprise. But also, anyone who does not track user behavior as their “primary business” can you as well. This means all retailers, entertainment sites, facebook, etc could conceivably escape the penalties of the law.

Additionally, do we really want the kind of privacy this bill introduces. Mashable talks about sites tracking our shoe sizes as if it were a bad thing. All it will do is spawn a news cycle that will get people all frenzied about how unsafe technology is. I remember on the Today Show a few years back the big headline was something like:

Your computer is storing these evil things called cookies. The world is going to end unless you block them.

(this might be a bit of an exaggeration)

The truth is, our government is WAY WAY WAY behind the times when it comes to regulating technology and understanding things like privacy, patents, trade agreements, identity theft, and digital fraud. Not sure if i have a great answer – just saw a soapbox that needed my feet planted on it for a second…

 

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