by Mike Masnick
Wed, Apr 16th 2008 9:09pm
While the "Do Not Call" list in the US has mostly been successful (with some glaring exceptions) in cutting down on intrusive telemarketing calls, it has kicked off a somewhat annoying trend for consumer groups to demand all sorts of other "Do Not X" lists. Popular for a while was the idea of a "Do Not Spam" list, which most folks realized would be almost impossible to administer. Now, some consumer groups are pushing for a similar "Do Not Track" list, following all of the recent stories about behavioral marketing and clickstream tracking. This list would, its proponents claim, let people opt-out of allowing advertisers to track them. Again, though, this idea would be nearly impossible to manage in real life. In most cases, advertisers have no real idea of who they're tracking anyway -- so it's difficult to see how one would "opt-out" of such data collection in the first place. It would seem that a much more efficient (and effective) solution is to just let the technology evolve to the point that users can block such tracking activities on their own. In many cases, that's already possible. On top of that, as companies like Phorm are discovering, the public outcry against even the possibility of doing something bad concerning clickstream tracking will hopefully keep these firms in check.
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