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Consumer Groups Advocate for 'Do Not Track' Registry

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the it's-nice-to-dream dept.

Businesses 146

eldavojohn writes "Consumer groups are asking for a 'do not track' registry to be implemented, similar to the successful and popular 'do not call' registry. Tracking companies are asking for examples where tracking has caused harm, and would rather the industry stay self-regulated. 'In December, the FTC approved Google's purchase of advertising rival DoubleClick over the objections of some privacy groups. At the same time, the agency urged advertisers to let computer users bar advertisers from collecting information on them, to provide "reasonable security" for any data and to collect data on health conditions or other sensitive issues only with the consumer's express consent.'"

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What's with all these registries? (5, Interesting)

Otis2222222 (581406) | more than 6 years ago | (#23094922)

Do Not Call, Do Not E-mail, and now Do Not Track?

Something I really don't understand here is why ANY reasonable person would not opt-out of any of these systems? (Granted, only the first one is actually coded into law) And how do you enforce them for companies based outside the USA? And for that matter, what's to stop companies from outsourcing their tracking offshore to skirt the laws?

Where is the"your post advocates a..." for this?

Re:What's with all these registries? (4, Funny)

MarkGriz (520778) | more than 6 years ago | (#23095020)

"What's with all these registries?"

Yeah. Why not just create a "leave me the fsck alone" registry and be done with it.

Re:What's with all these registries? (3, Insightful)

beckerist (985855) | more than 6 years ago | (#23096216)

Just what I want. A database with my personal information that people can access to see if the personal information they already have should be used... How would this be policed world wide? What would stop someone who is already breaking 500 laws from ripping THAT info and using it? At the very least they would have to provide SOME sort of validation, and that alone scares me.

Re:What's with all these registries? (1)

gnuman99 (746007) | more than 6 years ago | (#23096454)

I'm making one. Just post your name, phone number, your mother's maiden name and your SSN number and name of your first born. This information will be used strictly to leave you alone.

Thanks!

Re:What's with all these registries? (5, Insightful)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 6 years ago | (#23095054)

You're going to see the ads anyway, why not see ads targeted towards products you're interested in?

I don't care if Google knows what websites I visit. Oooo! A single 29-year-old male goes to porn sites!! How EEEEEVIL of Google to know this!

No, I'm not going to see the ads. (2, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 6 years ago | (#23095126)

I use adblock and filterset.g. Even when there are ads on the page, I tune them out. When I want to purchase something, I research it. I don't need to have it shoved in my face. Advertising and marketing are a complete waste of human energy at best, evil mind control black magic at worst. I don't want to watch chickens being sacrificed to dark gods, I don't inject raw sewage straight into my brain, and I don't look at advertising.

Re:No, I'm not going to see the ads. (3, Interesting)

matang (731781) | more than 6 years ago | (#23095226)

they're also the reason that most of the internet is free. have fun paying 50c per search to use google.

Re:No, I'm not going to see the ads. (2, Funny)

bishiraver (707931) | more than 6 years ago | (#23096438)

Mod parent up.

If it weren't for interbutts advertising, all you'd find on the intertubes would be dry research material and 'HI THIS IS LARUENS [sic] HOMEPAGE AND HERE IS MY CAT PICTURES! HI THERE!@!! SIGN MAH GUEST BOOK~~~ MUAH~~~' type pages. Replete with spinning kitty paw gifs. And probably a few <marquee> tags.

We would not have rich internet news. Social news (e.g. digg and slashdot) wouldn't be viable. And forget free porn (outside of irc chatrooms run out of a basement in bulgaria to find someone to webcam with over netmeeting).

Re:No, I'm not going to see the ads. (5, Insightful)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 6 years ago | (#23095334)

Gruh, I should have specifically said "no 'I use AdBlock' responses." Yes, we get it, a lot of Slashdot readers use AdBlock. I understand this. I've read the snarky "the web has ads? I use AdBlock so I don't see them" about 50,000 times this month alone! Yes, I know it exists. Yes, I know people use it. Yes, I choose not to as a way of supporting the sites I visit. No, you won't convince me to download it.

Sorry, those posts are irritating as hell. Please try to respond with original thoughts. Thank you.

Re:No, I'm not going to see the ads. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23095512)

Sounds like you need to create an AdBlockBlock extension that blocks people stroking their ego about AdBlock.

Re:No, I'm not going to see the ads. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23095686)

Yeah, that's great, until that becomes so popular that we need AdBlockBlockBlock Extensions to block people stroking their ego about their AdBlockBlock extension.

Re:No, I'm not going to see the ads. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23095574)

bwah ha ha ha I use noscript!!!!

Re:No, I'm not going to see the ads. (-1, Troll)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 6 years ago | (#23095604)

Hm, can I still say "I just torrent all my stuff" whenever someone tries to provoke a fruitful discussion of pricing and distribution models for digital works?

Re:No, I'm not going to see the ads. (1)

spun (1352) | more than 6 years ago | (#23095728)

I don't give a rat's ass if you download AdBlock or not. You said, "You're going to see the ads anyway, why not see ads targeted towards products you're interested in?" and I responded that I don't want to see ads, targeted or not, and that marketing and advertising are an evil waste of human talent and energy.

AdBlock just happens to be one method I use so I don't have to see ads. I mention it in passing, and you start frothing at the mouth and accusing me of being unoriginal. As if saying, "Hey, targeted ads are GREAT! More Please!!" or "I support websites by looking at ads!" is in any way original.

Advertising is anti-happiness. It actively tries to make people less happy, in order to get them to buy more useless crap that also won't make them happy.

You know what I find irritating as hell? People who recommend ways for me to get conned and mindfucked by sleazy scam artists who have a fucking college education in how to influence people against their will. That's all advertising is.

Re:No, I'm not going to see the ads. (2, Insightful)

Kelbear (870538) | more than 6 years ago | (#23095860)

Further to the above, I use a middle-road approach. I have AdBlock installed but I don't have any filters added. I'm fine with seeing ads, it's revenue for the sites I visit if they serve up something of interest to me. When an ad bugs me, I just selectively block it.

Re:No, I'm not going to see the ads. (3, Funny)

Fear the Clam (230933) | more than 6 years ago | (#23096060)

Sorry, those posts are irritating as hell. Please try to respond with original thoughts. Thank you.

Were you saying something? I use DoucheBlock, so I don't see these things.

Re:No, I'm not going to see the ads. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23096560)

So you've never seen UbuntuDope's posts then?

Re:No, I'm not going to see the ads. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23097208)

Noone's trying to convince you to download it. This is a direct response to you saying "You're going to see the ads anyway, why not see ads targeted towards products you're interested in?" Well, with adblock "You're" *NOT* going to see the ads anyway.

          (Note, I am not advocating filterset.g... I use adblock, but set to a very low setting where I block ad sites that force popups despite my "no popups" setting, and I block ad sites that allow noisy ads. I know people need cash to run sites so I am fine with ads otherwise. Note2, if ISPs really do try to push some pay per MB shit as was discussed a few days ago, I WILL then block every single ad, since I will not pay for advertising.)

Re:No, I'm not going to see the ads. (4, Informative)

Original Replica (908688) | more than 6 years ago | (#23095440)

Advertising and marketing are a complete waste of human energy at best, evil mind control black magic at worst.

Advertising in Most first world countries is anti-happiness. As explained by Professor Richard Layard: [abc.net.au]

"once people's basic economic needs are met additional income and wealth contributes little to an individual's happiness. What's more a society which encourages a focus on the self and its wants, and heightened individualism, tends to undermine the very things which psychological research now shows are crucial to feelings of happiness: close personal relationships, trust, and security. On top of this consumerism, advertising and the effects of the mass media heightens human beings' natural interest in 'status' and social comparisions. This means that in contemporary society people's lives are overly concerned with work, money, and how they are doing in 'the rat race'. Such a life focus is not intrinsically satisfying and so we have the prosperity paradox that for all the increased wealth in modern society people do not feel happier. [centreforc...ence.co.uk]

Re:No, I'm not going to see the ads. (1)

spun (1352) | more than 6 years ago | (#23095792)

Thanks for posting that, it encapsulates my feelings about advertising quite succinctly.

Re:No, I'm not going to see the ads. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23095606)

When I want to purchase something, I research it...Advertising and marketing are a complete waste of human energy at best...
You're a fool if you think that in general, advertising is not valuable to both the buyer and the seller. That is how buyers find sellers. You couldn't even begin researching your purchase if there wasn't some form of advertising letting you know what options are out there.

The problem isn't that ads exist, it's that they need to be more relevant when they're displayed. Google seems to be making this their mission and for that reason, and right now I'm happy to let them track what websites I look at and what ads I do or don't click on so that both the ads and the search results are more relevant.

I run a small business and I am constantly looking for ways to advertise to a smaller group of people who are actually looking for my product. And guess what? Google's ads that are served up as a result of tracking search queries and trends are my best find right now. Even better than trade shows where people leave their homes and drive to a venue looking for my business.

But, you can go back to your cave when there was no advertising and you only consumed what you could catch or trade with your neighbor, but only if you asked him what he had to trade since you wouldn't want him letting you know that by advertising in any way.

Re:No, I'm not going to see the ads. (2, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 6 years ago | (#23095772)

What utter bullshit. I read reviews, listen to friends, read, and research. I have never seen a ad and thought, "Wow, I NEED that even though I've never heard of it before."

When I want something, I will seek it out. I'm not a sheep, I don't need to be led to pasture and shown where to graze. I don't need people telling me what I should want.

When I want something, I'll ask, thanks, so shut the fuck up, I don't want to hear what you have for sale.

Re:What's with all these registries? (1)

jlarocco (851450) | more than 6 years ago | (#23095210)

Except if you're doing it right, you're not going to see ads.

I do agree with your point, however. The fact that I don't see the ads is the exact reason this list is unnecessary. The government shouldn't be "helping out" when the people can do it themselves.

Re:What's with all these registries? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23095680)

Do you realize what an elitist attitude that is?

Re:What's with all these registries? (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 6 years ago | (#23095228)

Ads targeted towards me are more likely to affect my behavior. Since advertising is largely based on emotional manipulation and deception, it's bound to affect my behavior negatively. When I start to research a product I might want to buy, I don't want to have any preconceptions formed by marketing, so that's why I don't want to see targeted ads. Basically, I'd rather see noise than lies.

Re:What's with all these registries? (0, Redundant)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 6 years ago | (#23095266)

The web has ads? I haven't seen one in years.

Ignoring that- no I don't want to have more targeted ads. Its an invasion of my privacy- I did not give them permission to stalk me. I'm not going to buy their product regaurdless- I don't make impulse purchases. The last time I bought something I wasn't planning on a month in advanced (or wasn't an emergency replacement- like a light bulb burning out) was a good year or two ago.

Its also counterproductive for them- if I see a television, radio, print or other advertisement for a product, I will not buy your product for a minimum of a month or longer, depending on the obnoxiousness of the ad (for example, direct mail is a minimum 6 months- you're annoying me and wasting resources at the same time). My time and attention are valuable, if you're going to waste them with advertising shit, I will not support your company. I also do not buy the products of any company that sells ad space. The only exception to this rule are in-store ads, as its reasonable that if I'm at the store already then I'm looking for products. I highly suggest more people take this approach- if people start not just ignoring, but actively avoiding advertised products we can end the annoyances that are billboards, commercials, and direct mail.

Re:What's with all these registries? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23096126)

Wow... you must have a hell of a time when you go to the grocery store. Your options for brands that do not advertise in some way is very limited.

Re:What's with all these registries? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23095500)

It's a slippery slope, man. First they track how many porn sites you go to, then they track how many times you click through those match.com teaser ads, and next thing you know, they have a full profile built about how you're an overweight single white guy with a porn addiction who lives alone in a one bedroom apartment. Then the ads get REALLY interesting.

Re:What's with all these registries? (1)

Dada Vinci (1222822) | more than 6 years ago | (#23096066)

You're going to see the ads anyway, why not see ads targeted towards products you're interested in? It's one thing to see targeted ads. It's another if companies keep data on you, virtually forever. Disk space is basically free, but years worth of demographic data is incredibly valuable. I have no problem with Google serving context ads to me, but I have a big problem if information about every website I've visted in the last 5 years is only a subpeona away from anybody out to embarass me or drag my name through the mud. Even if Google does nothing wrong, somebody else can still get at that data through legal process or security breaches. There's a reason there are so many privacy services [myprivacy.com] springing up. It's basically free for data brokers to store data about you forever, but it costs you a lot when that data comes back to haunt you.

Re:What's with all these registries? (1)

vertinox (846076) | more than 6 years ago | (#23096514)

I don't care if Google knows what websites I visit. Oooo! A single 29-year-old male goes to porn sites!! How EEEEEVIL of Google to know this!

What if visiting porn sites became illegal or the information was used by uptight employers to fire you?

Personally, I'm not so concerned about Google tracking me, but I'm concerned who they give it to even if what I do now is perfectly legal.

Re:What's with all these registries? (1)

Rorschach1 (174480) | more than 6 years ago | (#23097110)

A single 29-year-old male goes to porn sites!

And that one 29-year old must keep them all in business, while the rest of us go to Usenet for our fix.

Re:What's with all these registries? (1)

Spad (470073) | more than 6 years ago | (#23095136)

Because if they were Opt-In then nobody would ever do so.

Re:What's with all these registries? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23095524)

Because if they were Opt-In then nobody would ever do so.
You make it sound like it is a bad thing.

Re:What's with all these registries? (1)

WaltBusterkeys (1156557) | more than 6 years ago | (#23095862)

It's true that opt-out and opt-in lead to very different solutions. But opt-out gets expensive when a lot of people do it; the companies have to actually go through and process each opt-out request.

Plenty enough of people are opting out through services allowing individuals to see what information the big data brokers have on them, and to delete some of it, but not all data can be removed that way. They call it a "global do not call list [reputationdefender.com] ". keeping with the FTC's US phone do not call registry [donotcall.gov] . If enough people opt out, the customer service costs become so high that it becomes cheaper for trackers to force opt-in instead.

To the predictable "They are proposing a [x] market based solution" -- yeah, it's true. But they at least have a shot at controlling some of it for the people who care the most.

Re:What's with all these registries? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23095196)

Ugh..there is a much simpler way
1)Cell phone that ONLY those humans I want to have the number, have the number. They are folks I call friends. Those that understand if they give my number away - retributions would be certain and swift.

2)One email addy that is my 'give away' Go ahead - spam the hell out of it. My personal one? See the rules for #1 above.

3)Tracking - Follow the rules above. YOu won't have my 'real' number, nor my 'real' email address. Cookies get wiped routinely and often, passwords are rotated the same way.

Little vigilance goes along way.

Re:What's with all these registries? (1)

zermous (1196831) | more than 6 years ago | (#23095336)

Because the tracking costs me practically zero and helps bolster the house of cards which is the ad-supported internet.
I assure you whatever wisps of promise of hypothetical costs to me of tracking are overwhelmed by the benefits.

Re:What's with all these registries? (2, Interesting)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 6 years ago | (#23095460)

Where is the "your post advocates a..." for this?
Right here! Although I haven't worked hard on the s/spam/tracking/ bit. Off we go:

Your article advocates a

(X) technical ( ) legislative ( ) market-based ( ) vigilante

approach to fighting tracking. Your idea will not work. Here is why it won't work.
(One or more of the following may apply to your particular idea, and it may
have other flaws which used to vary from state to state before a bad federal
law was passed.)

(X) Trackers can easily use it to harvest identities
( ) Mailing lists and other legitimate email uses would be affected
( ) No one will be able to find the guy or collect the money
( ) It is defenseless against brute force attacks
( ) It will stop spam for two weeks and then we'll be stuck with it
( ) Users of email will not put up with it
( ) Microsoft will not put up with it
( ) The police will not put up with it
(X) Requires too much cooperation from trackers
( ) Requires immediate total cooperation from everybody at once
( ) Many email users cannot afford to lose business or alienate potential
employers
( ) Spammers don't care about invalid addresses in their lists
( ) Anyone could anonymously destroy anyone else's career or business

Specifically, your plan fails to account for

( ) Laws expressly prohibiting it
(X) Lack of centrally controlling authority for web behaviour
( ) Open relays in foreign countries
( ) Ease of searching tiny alphanumeric address space of all email addresses
( ) Asshats
(X) Jurisdictional problems
( ) Unpopularity of weird new taxes
( ) Public reluctance to accept weird new forms of money
( ) Huge existing software investment in SMTP
( ) Susceptibility of protocols other than SMTP to attack
( ) Willingness of users to install OS patches received by email
( ) Armies of worm riddled broadband-connected Windows boxes
( ) Eternal arms race involved in all filtering approaches
( ) Extreme profitability of spam
( ) Joe jobs and/or identity theft
(X) Technically illiterate politicians
(X) Extreme stupidity on the part of people who do business with trakers
(X) Dishonesty on the part of trackers themselves
( ) Bandwidth costs that are unaffected by client filtering
( ) Outlook

and the following philosophical objections may also apply:

( ) Ideas similar to yours are easy to come up with, yet none have ever
been shown practical
(X) Any scheme based on opt-out is unacceptable
(X) HTTP headers should not be the subject of legislation
( ) Blacklists suck
( ) Whitelists suck
( ) We should be able to talk about Viagra without being censored
( ) Countermeasures should not involve wire fraud or credit card fraud
( ) Countermeasures should not involve sabotage of public networks
( ) Countermeasures must work if phased in gradually
( ) Sending email should be free
( ) Why should we have to trust you and your servers?
( ) Incompatiblity with open source or open source licenses
( ) Feel-good measures do nothing to solve the problem
( ) Temporary/one-time email addresses are cumbersome
( ) I don't want the government reading my email
( ) Killing them that way is not slow and painful enough

Furthermore, this is what I think about you:

( ) Sorry dude, but I don't think it would work.
( ) This is a stupid idea, and you're a stupid person for suggesting it.
( ) Nice try, assh0le! I'm going to find out where you live and burn your
house down!

First things first (0, Redundant)

rimugu (701444) | more than 6 years ago | (#23094924)

Please install the following add-ons to your Firefox"
  • Redirect Remover
  • RefControl
  • TrackMeNot

Plus TOR.

Re:First things first (2, Informative)

Shadow-isoHunt (1014539) | more than 6 years ago | (#23095656)

An exit node can MITM your cookies, posts, and other shit. Tor is not meant to be used 24/7 and it's not meant to be used to submit data(like form information) without encryption(HTTPS in this case) end to end. Exit nodes can see every packet going over the wire, even changing packets to include malware(to own you IE users), replace google ads, or just build a profile on you via the passive monitoring of the communications. If tor comes into widespread use, it's going to come into widespread abuse, and you're going to look like an asshat when grandma uses an exit node with dsniff running.

Nice Try (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23094940)

something like this would be impossible to enforce, and the data collection is almost always transparent to the user.

but if you really dont want to be tracked, just turn off your cookies! (although there are ways to track without using them)

Re:Nice Try (3, Interesting)

evanbd (210358) | more than 6 years ago | (#23095022)

just turn off your cookies!

Ignoring for a moment the other ways to track me, I rather like being semi-permanently logged in to /. and a host of other sites. When I'm buying something, I don't want to have to go manually unblock the site so it can store my shopping cart data.

Does anyone know of a way to only block the "evil" cookies? I'd love something that blocked the tracking cookies, let the shopping cart ones through, and didn't require me to figure out which was which for each and every cookie.

Re:Nice Try (1)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 6 years ago | (#23095068)

I keep my HOSTS file updated to prevent any connections with known tracking sites. How much good does this do for me, and what are its shortcomings?

Re:Nice Try (1)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 6 years ago | (#23095330)

I set my browser (I still use Seamonkey, in part because I don't think Firefox has this feature) to ask me on every cookie the first time. I then decide by domain what I want to do. A login cookie I'll accept permanently. If I don't know what the domain is, I block it permanently. It works about 99.9% of the time.

Re:Nice Try (1)

JesseMcDonald (536341) | more than 6 years ago | (#23095358)

Does anyone know of a way to only block the "evil" cookies? I'd love something that blocked the tracking cookies, let the shopping cart ones through, and didn't require me to figure out which was which for each and every cookie.

It won't eliminate tracking entirely, but my answer was to accept cookies from all sites, just for the duration of the session. Sites like Slashdot where I maintain an account have an exception in my Firefox cookie preferences which allows them to store cookies indefinitely. Shopping carts work normally, as their cookies don't need to be preserved across sessions.

Re:Nice Try (1)

CSMatt (1175471) | more than 6 years ago | (#23096192)

Keep the "good" sites in a whitelist. Unlock them once and they remain unblocked for eternity. Block everything else. You can also just allow all session cookies. In my experience this works just fine with a lot of shopping sites.

The vast majority of sites don't need cookies, yet many place them anyway. I've been whitelisting my cookies for a while now and not having any major problems.

Solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23096394)


Does anyone know of a way to only block the "evil" cookies?

Just use the FORCE, Luke . . .

Re:Nice Try (1)

Abalamahalamatandra (639919) | more than 6 years ago | (#23097014)

A nice compromise is what I use: first thing I do when I set up a new Firefox install is "Accept cookies: until I close Firefox" and then put in exceptions for, say, slashdot.org and ubuntuforums.org to "allow". That way, as soon as I close Firefox, all the tracking cookies go away, but my "keep me logged in" cookies stay.

So yes, I'm still being tracked per-session, but not across sessions - except for my nearly-static-IP Comcast connection's IP address, I suppose.

Re:Nice Try (1)

Jherek Carnelian (831679) | more than 6 years ago | (#23097054)

Does anyone know of a way to only block the "evil" cookies? I'd love something that blocked the tracking cookies, let the shopping cart ones through, and didn't require me to figure out which was which for each and every cookie.
Yes.

CookieSafe Lite [mozilla.org] for Firefox.

It lets you block/enable cookies by site.
It also has a block-list subscription facility similar to adblock subscriptions.
I don't know how well the subscription facility works, but I do pretty well blocking everything and then enabling things on a case by case basis.

Do not call registry? (1)

overshoot (39700) | more than 6 years ago | (#23094952)

Is that still around? You couldn't tell by the number of "your warranty is about to expire" and "notice about your credit card" automated calls I get every day one both the landline and the cell phone.

Those calls may theoretically be illegal, but the laws aren't enforced.

Re:Do not call registry? (1)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 6 years ago | (#23095302)

You're the exception, I haven't had a sales call in years. You may want to actually start reporting abuses.

How About a 'Suck My Dick' Registry (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23094974)

If I could get my name on a 'Suck My Dick' registry, maybe I would finally get some fuckin head.

For Christ's sake, bitch, suck my dick. You know you want to, so FUCKING DO IT!

More Opt-Out Registries (3, Funny)

rtobyr (846578) | more than 6 years ago | (#23095034)

Oh yeah... where do I sign up for the "Do Not Spam" registry?

Re:More Opt-Out Registries (1)

aeskdar (1136689) | more than 6 years ago | (#23095188)

Right next to the "Do Not Track" registry...

Re:More Opt-Out Registries (1)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 6 years ago | (#23095316)

Right next to that nice Nigerian fellow. Don't worry, they won't take that list of verified email addresses and spam them; that would be illegal!

Re:More Opt-Out Registries (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 6 years ago | (#23095326)

Just email me, of course. While we're signing you up for the registry, I have some important matter to discuss to you about my uncle who live in Nigeria. He is being a wealthy prince and we need your help please.

Re:More Opt-Out Registries (1)

CSMatt (1175471) | more than 6 years ago | (#23096244)

No need. Spam can easily be fought at the ISP level by having the mail server bounce back all spam e-mails. If enough ISPs do this it will flood the spammer's inbox, or at least convince the spammer that the address doesn't exist and isn't worth soliticing. Problem solved.

Of course, there is the problem with false positives, so the server would have to bounce back the e-mail but still send it to the subscriber's spam box. If the e-mail is legitimate the subscriber can submit that address and the ISP will not bounce those e-mails anymore.

Individually register to stay anonymous... (4, Funny)

the_other_chewey (1119125) | more than 6 years ago | (#23095058)

What a great concept - for trackers: You individually register and have
to stay identifiable during all your browsing so trackers know it is you.
You allow them to track you so they stop tracking you.

Soundy like a great idea?

Yeah, to me neither.

Re:Individually register to stay anonymous... (2, Funny)

gfogus (1087935) | more than 6 years ago | (#23095360)

Easy solution:

1. All persons shall, by default, non-tracked persons.
2. Any person may request to be on the "tracked" list.

This goes for phone marketers and spammers.

Would you like to sign up to be tracked or spammed? Be my guest.

(This can be solved through technology. I'm working on it.)

Re:Individually register to stay anonymous... (3, Informative)

groschke (1095723) | more than 6 years ago | (#23095784)

Its poorly named. At least as proposed las year, it actually required the TRACKERS to register. So that you can easily opt out by downloading the list of trackers. See: http://infoadvocate.org/blog/2007/11/04/do-not-track-lists-and-registries/ [infoadvocate.org]

Re:Individually register to stay anonymous... (1)

freedumb2000 (966222) | more than 6 years ago | (#23095850)

First useful comment for this article. Thank you!

Re:Individually register to stay anonymous... (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 6 years ago | (#23096272)

Exactly. Next up: A "Don't put me into a registry" registry.

How about a smarter approach? (1)

Omega (1602) | more than 6 years ago | (#23096980)

A "Do Not Track" registry is an especially dumb idea. Aside from the obvious ideological inconsistency -- registering yourself with every advertiser so they know not to track you, there's also the fact that most people dislike ads because they are irrelevant to what they're looking for (i.e. not targeted). "I don't care how much you think I can lower my mortgage -- I already have a good rate."

Instead, why not have a law that says you can collect and track all you want, but you can't resell that info? I think that's what everyone's concerned about (i.e. privacy). You're already passively giving this information away to a web page when you visit and interact with it -- so there's nothing magic/evil about them using that info to serve you relevant / targeted ads. What is unethical is for them to take that information they know about you and sell it to someone else. I think that's where the real privacy concern comes in, because all it takes is for someone to pay "teh Goog" a shedload of money and they can buy the personal info of millions of people. Make selling the info illegal, not using the information internally.

How do you "not track" (3, Insightful)

nine-times (778537) | more than 6 years ago | (#23095080)

I'm probably not fully understanding, but how do you track people, but allow someone to "opt out". What I mean is, let's say you don't want DoubleClick to track you. So for them to abide by a "do not track" list, they need to set up some kind of identifier so that, when you visit a site where they would normally track you, they recognize it's you and stop tracking you. But that means you'd have to send them that identifier in every instance where they would track you, and they'd end up having to track you to make sure they don't track you.

I suppose they could just not store the collecting information, though. And no, I didn't RTFA.

Re:How do you "not track" (3, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 6 years ago | (#23095118)

"I'm against picketing but I don't know how to show it" -Mitch Hedberg

Re:How do you "not track" (1)

lorenzo.boccaccia (1263310) | more than 6 years ago | (#23095160)

huzza! for self regulating market. instead of not being tracked, now we need to be tracked... to be not tracked.

Re:How do you "not track" (2, Informative)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 6 years ago | (#23095268)

They have a "opt-out" cookie value.

http://www.doubleclick.com/privacy/dart_adserving.aspx [doubleclick.com]

The catch being that if you do clear your cookies, you'll have to re-set the opt out cookie as well.

If you care, here's the URL to opt-out of the other big ad network:

http://www.atlassolutions.com/optout.aspx [atlassolutions.com]

I don't have all of them, but Doubleclick and Atlas cover something like 75-80% of the market.

Re:How do you "not track" (1)

bishiraver (707931) | more than 6 years ago | (#23096576)

The problem with opting out of tracking without blocking advertising is also this: You're likely to see the same advert many times in a row, because the tracking mechanisms also interact with the ad serving (as outlined in the doubleclick reference above). These interactions limit how often you see ads based on the advertiser's settings - they know that if you see their advert too many times in a row / too often, it will generate an adverse reaction to their product/service/company.

Easiest way to opt out (3, Informative)

kickmyassman (1199237) | more than 6 years ago | (#23095098)

Get firefox, Noscript, and adblock plus. Block all the tracking websites! I have "google-analitics.com" (it's frightening how many websites have this embedded, even those without ads) "googlesyndication" "doubleclick" and lots of other on my "untrusted" list. Makes me 20% less paranoid.

Re:Easiest way to opt out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23095240)

I use those add-ons and also go into Firefox's preferences and block cookies from all of Google's domains (including the ones you listed).

Noscript, ABPlus without much tweaking (1)

swb (14022) | more than 6 years ago | (#23095908)

Is it a pretty effective solution?

I have all that installed along with an ABP filterset subscription, but other than me manually blocking Google analytics and syndication as untrusted, how effective is trusting those two solutions to block tracking?

Or do you really have to go nuts and setup manual ABP blocks for tracking vendor(s)?

Re:Easiest way to opt out (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 6 years ago | (#23096234)

And use hosts to block those ad servers! OpenDNS for blocking malware and other bad servers.

Wouldn't it be smarter to just block the ads? (3, Insightful)

Antony-Kyre (807195) | more than 6 years ago | (#23095102)

Wouldn't it be smarter to just block the ads instead? To prevent such cookies from touching one's computer?

Re:Wouldn't it be smarter to just block the ads? (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 6 years ago | (#23096788)

The best way is rather than to try and blacklist all bad cookies, simply whitelist the ones you want to keep and delete all others at the end of your browsing session.

This can be done in Firefox by setting cookies to expire at the end of the session and then using CookieButton to whitelist ones you want to keep (to stay logged into /. for example).

Combine this with a daily modem reboot to change your IP address, and you are almost untrackable.

Cookies (5, Funny)

Gat0r30y (957941) | more than 6 years ago | (#23095104)

When you outlaw cookies, only outlaws will have cookies..... yum delicious cookies

Re:Cookies (1)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 6 years ago | (#23095258)

When you outlaw cookies, only outlaws will have cookies..... yum delicious cookies

That certainly explains both the Cookie Crook and the Cookie Monster.

Re:Cookies (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 6 years ago | (#23095544)

What about delicious cake?

Re:Cookies (1)

Gat0r30y (957941) | more than 6 years ago | (#23095590)

the cake is a lie.

Irony (1)

RockMFR (1022315) | more than 6 years ago | (#23095108)

In order to sign up for the 'Do Not Track' registry, you'll need to provide your name, address, phone number, SSN, mother's maiden name, and the names of all the porn sites you regularly visit. Without this information, we cannot guarantee your privacy.

Considering... (1)

Bullfish (858648) | more than 6 years ago | (#23095116)

That use of adblock has been called "immoral" http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/09/11/157256/ [slashdot.org]

I wonder how this will be received...

And if they (the trackers) said they would comply, would you believe them?

Re:Considering... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23095180)

Link is dead.

Sorry - Re:Considering... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23095340)

That's weird, I googled adblock immoral slashdot and it gave me the link (first hit), which I copied and pasted into the post.

If you search those words on slashdot, the link come up too... and everything looks right

Re:Considering... (1)

pfleming (683342) | more than 6 years ago | (#23097104)

Try this [slashdot.org]

oxymoron (1)

DaveGod (703167) | more than 6 years ago | (#23095122)

Wouldn't I have to put down quite a lot of detail on the register just to enable companies to figure out whether they are supposed to avoid tracking me?

Worse, it'd be doing the hardest bit - connecting the dots.

How About a LMA Registry? (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 6 years ago | (#23095152)

How about a Leave Me Alone Registry that registers you to all these other registries?

How are you going to identify people? (1)

tjstork (137384) | more than 6 years ago | (#23095166)

The only problem with a do-not-track registry is that it is almost impossible to work with. I mean, you will be creating a list of what, exactly, that somehow a server will have to access, how, that will somehow have a web application to optionally not use cookies? Or somehow not use real e-mail addresses in its database? To some extent, for a lot of web stuff to work, you have to track users activities.

Better than CAN-SPAM? (4, Interesting)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#23095178)

Judging from how much more spam I get since the CAN-SPAM law supposedly outlawed it, I don't think these online registries do anything but register a high-value contact address. The Do-Not-Call list is different, because the telcos control the calls, and there's a lot more legal precedent (teeth) in counterattacking harassing phonecalls.

It's interesting how despite telcos like AT&T declaring they're going to police the Internet for copyright violation, and otherwise snoop content and traffic as they please, they don't seem to be implementing network spam filters, like with do-not-spam registries. Even though that would be very popular with users, and give the telcos each an excuse to get our contact lists, "to use as whitelists" (or whatever else they want).

There really should be a major push to enforce protecting our privacy. Every email system should operate with a whitelist by default, so only people you add (and maybe people on their whitelist) can get through to you. What would work even better would be micropayments to the recipient for each email they receive, with payments waived (or charged back in bulk or net) for those on the whitelist. Make the micropayments settable by the user (and variable even in the whitelist). Then spammers could pay me to spam me, if they can afford it, and I can make money off being spammed if I set the micropayments low enough. My associates will get to me for free, and new associates can pay to get my attention, then get it refunded if I accept their new contact (and then put them on the whitelist).

Otherwise the noise in our messaging systems really degrade their high value, and inhibit our making using them second nature. Just like what would have happened to the telephone if it were as cheap for telemarketers to annoy us as it is for them to spam us.

Re:Better than CAN-SPAM? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23095314)

Interesting concept. Not sure how workable that would truly be - but interesting certainly.

Would have to have a limit on depth of that whitelist acceptance though (anyone else get thoughts of "6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon" ?)

Methinks the only purpose of the 'CAN-SPAM' type lists - they provide validated email lists obtainable by U.S. companies to use in off-shored spamming machines.

Re:Better than CAN-SPAM? (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#23096128)

Well, it would be up to each person how far their recursive friend of a friend lists worked, but I'd say defaulting to just one degree of Kevin Bacon, though some more trustworthy friends could allow their friends, etc. And there's room for complex rules like if an incoming message comes from someone who's on the whitelist of each of three of my friends, it's an OK FoaF, but not if they're only friends of two or fewer friends.

That's how we manually decide we recognize people, and we're willing to work that way. I just want to see social trust networks automated, so it's easy, and they can be set by default. If they work even halfway, they might kill the critical mass of easy spamming that's eating up the Internet and annoying us so much.

Dear consumer groups (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23095238)

Good luck with that.

Signed, nigerian scammers and chinese spammers.

oxymoron? (2, Insightful)

Bob-taro (996889) | more than 6 years ago | (#23095384)

A "do not track" ... registry? Is this a late April fool's day joke? It sounds like it could backfire. Wouldn't it mean that websites that track at all would be LEGALLY REQUIRED to obtain some piece of identifying information about you to check against the registry? And how could you prove a violation? Wouldn't it still pretty much rely on "self-regulation"?

As an aside, I used to work in a marketing department that had separate "do not call", "do not mail", and "do not email" flags for all their customers. Our group's policy (I can't speak for the whole company) was that if any of those flags were set, we wouldn't put them on any kind of contact list. I think the decision was still based on economics -- they figured the benefit of marketing to a few more people was outweighed by the risk of angering those people: "I'm sorry, sir, I see that you asked not to be mailed or emailed any more offers, but you didn't say we couldn't CALL you!"

Re:oxymoron? (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 6 years ago | (#23095688)

Dang, this is exactly what I was going to say! I mean you use different words than I would, but it is EXACTLY what I was going to post.

In order to not be tracked, one would have to be ... tracked.

tracking.txt (1)

quick2think (833211) | more than 6 years ago | (#23095390)

Why don't browsers and email clients simply have a 'Do not Track' option? Each request would send the 'do not track' flag. Better yet, make it part of the HTML protocol. Whatever the solution is, it should work more like robots.txt that the "do not call list". Tracking.txt could have the sites you want to track you. You should have to opt in, not out. Of course, get ready to start paying for everything on the internet. No tracking == No profit. Unless of course you are actually making money the old fashion way, by providing a tangible product and you are just using the internet as a modern day Sears catalog. POP ... Bye-bye bubble!

Re:tracking.txt (1)

the brown guy (1235418) | more than 6 years ago | (#23095740)

Better yet, make it part of the HTML protocol.
But that would require change, but not in favor of these companies. For some reason I don't think this will happen.

Gov't tracks everything (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23095392)

Endless gov't tracking, yet another infringement on our rights by the gov't. Add it to the ever-growing list of violations:
They violate the 1st Amendment by opening mail, caging demonstrators and banning books like "America Deceived" from Amazon.
They violate the 2nd Amendment by confiscating guns during Katrina.
They violate the 4th Amendment by conducting warrant-less wiretaps.
They violate the 5th and 6th Amendment by suspending habeas corpus.
They violate the 8th Amendment by torturing.
They violate the entire Constitution by starting 2 illegal wars based on lies and on behalf of a foriegn gov't.
Impeach them all and save this great country.
Last link (unless Google Books caves to the gov't and drops the title):
America Deceived (book) [iuniverse.com]

Define irony (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23095614)

irony (n.)- compiling a huge database of people's names and demographic data, to prevent said compilation.

NoScript (1)

jabskeeterbug (1032608) | more than 6 years ago | (#23095762)

I use the NoScript FireFox addon. I am surprised at how many popular sites are using tracking scripts (and how many scripts they are using).

How about a "Do Not Track" for Government Tracking (0, Flamebait)

roscolaw (1274330) | more than 6 years ago | (#23096036)

I could care less about Google passively tracking my site browsing to deliver me targeted ads for a legitimate business purpose. What I do care about is the government tracking my law abiding behavior for no reason other than the illusion of protecting the children, public, or me from myself. As a law abiding citizen, I want the freedom to opt out of government spying, and data mining, about my life, which they can use it for any purpose of their choosing.

Tag "dupe" (1)

CSMatt (1175471) | more than 6 years ago | (#23096260)

This one's been discussed before. [slashdot.org]

Junk snail mail yes, spam no. (1)

v(*_*)vvvv (233078) | more than 6 years ago | (#23096968)

This won't work with spam as we all know since most spam is already sent illegally. I do wish they had this for regular mail though. That is so much trash just being handed out. How all junk mail isn't opt-in I do not know. Email is at least paperless.

Do Not Track: Oxymoron (1, Redundant)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 6 years ago | (#23097192)

How can they know not to track you unless they know it's you. Ergo, they have to track in order not to track. Why not just outlaw tracking altogether, since that's the outright effect of this proposed ban.
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