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Markey, Barton, Diss DAA Over Decision Not to Honor Default Do Not Track

Privacy Caucus Co-Chairs Ed Markey (D-Mass.)
and Joe Barton (R-Texas) said Wednesday that it was clear the Digital
Advertising Alliance was "putting profits over privacy."

came in response to DAA's decision not to recommend that its members honor the
default do-not-track regime that Microsoft has baked into its latest iterationof Explorer.
Microsoft had signaled several months ago it would take that step, and DAA had
said it was not happy, but had yet to declare that its members would not be
required to honor it.

a statement Wednesday, Markey and Barton said that "if consumers want to
be tracked online, they should have to opt-in to be tracked, instead of the
other way around. This is why we are disappointed to hear the Digital
Advertising Alliance insist that it will not honor Microsoft's 'Do Not Track'
default and will not penalize companies that ignore it.

said in announcing its intention not to comply that to do so would actually be
consumer-unfriendly. "Machine-driven do not track does not represent user
choice; it represents browser-manufacturer choice," it argued in a statement.
"Allowing browser manufacturers to determine the kinds of information
users receive could negatively impact the vast consumer benefits and Internet
experiences delivered by DAA participants and millions of other Web sites that
consumers value." 

committed to voluntary do not track guidelines, but on an opt-in rather than
opt-out basis. Markey and Barton gave them credit for that, but said it was not
enough and legislation would be needed. "While we appreciate the efforts
industry has taken to develop a ‘Do Not Track' signal, we have long endorsed a
standard that allows consumers to affirmatively choose whether to permit
collection of their personal information and targeting of advertisements. Until
we have stronger privacy laws in place that mandate a company adhere to a
consumer's preference, especially for children and teens, consumers and their
personal information will remain at risk."

call for legislation came as no surprise. Markey and Barton are co-sponsors of
a kids do not track bill.