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posted by cmn32480 on Monday October 12 2015, @08:35PM   Printer-friendly
from the leave-me-alone dept.

A universal do-not-track feature has been advocated by privacy groups after being introduced by the Federal Trade Commission in 2010. But the World-Wide Web Consortium (W3C) – composed of software companies, academics, privacy groups, and others who determine international Web-browsing standards – has long struggled to develop a unified approach for the feature.

The somewhat-arcane debate over Internet tracking has mostly simmered quietly, but now some lawmakers are arguing that a working group the consortium set up to develop the standard has become overly influenced by tech industry concerns, putting those interests ahead of protecting consumers from the possibility of privacy invasion. The group is currently chaired by representatives from Adobe and Intel.

"Unfortunately, the group's composition no longer reflects the broad range of interests and perspectives needed to develop a strong privacy standard," Sen. Edward Markey (D) of Massachusetts, Sen. Al Franken (D) of Minnesota, and Rep. Joe Barton (R) of Texas wrote in a letter on Wednesday to the consortium. "The 'Do Not Track' standard should empower consumers to stop unwanted collection and use of their personal data. At the same time, the standard should not permit certain companies to evade important consumer protections and engage in anticompetitive practices."


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  • (Score: 2) by Hyperturtle on Tuesday October 13 2015, @04:31PM

    by Hyperturtle (2824) on Tuesday October 13 2015, @04:31PM (#248968)

    too bad there isn't a "domain file" for host OSes.

    Vendors/trackers/advertisers/marketers only need to spin up new host names that aren't in our host files and their message will get through to us (or we'll be redirected to connect to them).

    I often block entire domains in DNS, but sometimes that does not work as well as one could hope since you end up breaking the entire domain connectivity instead of just hosts you don't like. But... for many domains... if you do not intend to log into facebook, then block the whole thing and don't worry about individual hosts. They can add more in the same domain, and it'd still get blocked (if they aren't directing to a specific IP, which sometimes gets done in CDN clouds--or random gibberish host names)

    It also is helpful in the regard that with a DNS service doing the domain blocking, you can limit traffic in areas of your control and prevent new machines from connecting -- giving you time to customize each of your hosts as needed, or not at all, in the event you don't mind if some things connect once outside of your network.

    It's a mixed bag with cell networks, anyway, since a local DNS server won't help if the device does its name resolution over carrier anyway, so I still encourage altering the host file, regardless of the limits it may have.

    One of the good things about the local host file editing: Simply following MDC's advice for the google-analytics is likely to speed up your online experience noticeably, depending on the places you frequent.

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