People are more concerned than ever before about online privacy, and this is the very reason Consumer Watchdog filed a petition to force websites to honour Do Not Track Requests. The Federal Communications Commission handed down a ruling which is not going to please privacy advocates.
In short, the FCC has said that websites should be under no obligation to take notice of Do Not Track requests. The commission dismissed Consumer Watchdog's petition that called for 'edge providers' - such as Google, Facebook, YouTube, Pandora, Netflix, and LinkedIn - to respect people's privacy if they enabled the Do Not Track option in their web browser.
Do Not Track is supposed to give internet users the opportunity to opt out of third-party tracking, but there is no obligation on sites to honour such requests. Consumer Watchdog had wanted the rules to change so that tracking would become opt-in, but the FCC indicated it has no intension of getting involved.
In its ruling, the commission said:
The FCC has said that it has no intention of "regulating the Internet, per se, or any Internet applications or content", which is how it regards the Do Not Track issue, despite the earlier reclassification of broadband as a telecommunications service.