Do Not Track Legislation Reintroduced in Senate

By David Bruggeman
March 4, 2013

On Thursday Senator Rockefeller of West Virginia introduced legislation to establish an option for people to opt out of tracking their online activity. It is S.418 and can be reviewed online.

The Senator introduced a similar bill in 2011. He did not vigorously pursue the measure, in part because of efforts by several parties to try and establish so-called Do Not Track options and standards for online activity. The Senator would likely not have reintroduced the bill if he was happy with the progress made to date.

The bill would require the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to set standards and regulations for a mechanism where consumers could indicate their tracking preferences. Violations of those regulations could be enforced by the FTC or by state attorneys general. The regulations would be subject to periodic review and revision.

Senator Rockefeller has announced he will not seek re-election next year, and may see this issue as a way to cap his Senate tenure. That could mean he sees the bill through into law, or uses that bill as additional pressure to achieve some kind of private sector resolution.