Congress has proven time and time again that they don't care whatsoever about your privacy. These are the same guys that tried to shove CIPSA and CSA through the system without any kind of debate. They claim to have good intentions, but their basic understanding of the Internet is flawed, and at times dangerous. That's why it's such a surprise when some members of Congress actually seem to know what they're talking about.
You may recall from earlier this week when the Digital Advertising Alliance basically told Microsoft to shove it. They weren't going to honor the "Do Not Track" button that's turned on by default in Internet Explorer 10. They even said that such blatant disregard for their tracking and data collection practices is actually bad for consumers in ways that they conveniently failed to mention.
Well, the Bi-Partisan Privacy Caucus is having none of it. They issued a statement saying that they're disappointed in the DAA. Here's the full statement:
Privacy is an issue that affects everyone, and the Digital Advertising Alliance’s announcement made clear that it puts profits over privacy. If consumers want to be tracked online, they should have to opt-in to be tracked, instead of the other way around. This is why we are disappointed to hear the Digital Advertising Alliance insist that it will not honor Microsoft’s “Do Not Track” default and will not penalize companies that ignore it.
While we appreciate the efforts industry has taken to develop a ‘Do Not Track’ signal, we have long endorsed a standard that allows consumers to affirmatively choose whether to permit collection of their personal information and targeting of advertisements. Until we have stronger privacy laws in place that mandate a company adhere to a consumer’s preference, especially for children and teens, consumers and their personal information will remain at risk.
Of course, this is just a statement. There's not really any laws in place that protect privacy from online tracking from advertisers or anybody else. The two co-chairs of the Privacy Caucus, Reps. Joe Barton and Edward Markey, introduced the Do Not Track Kids Act of 2011 last May, but it's been in legislative limbo since it was referred to committee.
So, does this change anything? Not at all. The DAA can continue ignoring your privacy while Congress wags their finger at them. Until we get some solid legislation passed that protects privacy, nothing is going to change. When you consider how blatantly anti-privacy CISPA and CSA were, the chances of such a bill seem slim.[h/t: The Next Web]