A former Clinton administration privacy lawyer called Monday for Congress to make it easier for consumers to opt out of online advertising targeted to specific users.
Peter Swire, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress and former OMB chief privacy counsel, argued for technical measures that would allow online consumers to avoid having their search history tracked for customized advertising.
Swire said the Network Advertising Initiative in 2001 developed a cookie — a data set that identifies a Web user — that indicates the user does not want his or her Internet surfing tracked for developing ads, but anti-spyware and Internet browser software will delete the cookie when the software deletes all cookies, leaving the user open to tracking.
Swire warned that if the simple fixes are not made, the industry and the FTC will not be meeting their goal of consumer choice.
This article appears in the May 3, 2008, edition of National Journal Daily.