Mozilla Testifies at U.S. Senate Committee Hearing on Do Not TrackBy: Shawn Hess - July 5, 2012
Last Thursday, Mozilla testified at a United States Senate Commerce Committee hearing on do not track .
The purpose of the hearing was to determine if voluntary efforts by those in the industry are enough to safeguard user privacy or if legislation is necessary.
Representatives from a number of different groups presented a contrast of various opinions and attitudes on the matter. Speaking on behalf of Mozilla was Alex Fowler.
Mozilla took the following stances on Do Not Track:
* Industry self-regulation can work when it’s a multi-stakeholder process that reflects the views of all of the relevant parties involved in data transactions.
* Regulatory measures can introduce unintended consequences that can be harmful to a fragile web ecosystem.
* Enabling economic ecosystems on the web is essential to a robust and healthy Internet; however, commercial imperatives and user choice/control are not mutually exclusive. They can and must coexist through a combination of technical capabilities and user-centric business and data practices.
* The multi-stakeholder process occurring at the W3C will result in a consensus on both the meaning of DNT and how websites should respond.
Others witnesses who gave testimony at the hearing include Peter Swire, a law professor and privacy expert from Ohio State University, Berin Szoka from TechFreedom, and Bob Liodice who represented the Digital Advertising Association.
While some were in favor of legislation to regulate the industry with do not track guidelines, others testified that sufficient protections were already in place. A complete webcast of the near ninety minute hearing can be found by following this link to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation webpage.