Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Rep. Joe Barton (R-Tex.), the Starsky and Hutch of online privacy legislation, say they will keep plugging on their Do Not Track Kids legislation, despite the recently announced initiative by several web companies to block tracking on the web. Barton said that he welcomes the new initiative from the Digital Advertising Alliance, supported by Google, Microsoft, and others, but “without the adoption of this list of ‘best practices’ by Internet companies, the new guidelines will not be enforceable. The absence of an enforcement mechanism means consumers remain unprotected. That is why I feel Congress must act to ensure transparency among Internet companies that engage in data collection and usage.”
Do Not Track Kids would offer an erase button that parents could hit to erase information gathered about kids.
I think Barton and Markey’s persistence here is interesting and points to what was likely a strategy by the DAA coming out of President Obama’s announced Privacy Bill of Rights. If industry can demonstrate that it can self-regulate, it makes for an argument against being regulated by congress. Seems like it might not be working.