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Imagine going to a store at the mall. You do your shopping, you pay, and then you walk out the door. Except someone from the store follows you. They get in your car, they write down what other stores you go to and what you shop for there. Then they bring you advertisements of things you might want to buy. Convenient? Maybe a little. But kind of a loss of privacy too and more than a little creepy.
On Thursday, the House Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection Subcommittee, chaired by Illinois Democrat Bobby Rush, will take up discussion on how to create a Do Not Track list so that privacy-wary consumers can opt out of being tracked.
We talk to Washington Post technology reporter Cecelia Kang, who says that this is one of those rare issues that seems to have bipartisan support. Big tech companies aren’t crazy about it, online advertisers are certainly unhappy, but members of both parties are beginning to line up behind new legislation.
We also talk to Jonathan Mayer, a senior fellow at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society and one of the people behind donottrack.us, a project to develop a way to opt out. He says it’s similar to the Do Not Call list but since there is no standard (like phone numbers) there are some complexities to work out.
Also in this program, Finnish researchers have built an online social network for toddlers. And the toddlers are crazy about it.