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FTC to release online privacy guidelines on March 26

updated 05:30 pm EDT, Fri March 23, 2012

FTC offers polished privacy recommendations

The FTC on Friday posted word that it would reveal the finished version of its online privacy framework on March 26. Details of what it would involve weren't mentioned, although it would likely derive some of its practices from recommended "do not track" policy that would let web visitors guarantee they weren't having their details collected as they browsed, whether through cookies or otherwise. Input over the past year and a half from both the public and companies should have influenced the results.

As guidelines and not rules, the policies wouldn't force companies to change, but it could serve as a template for any legislative action that codified the privacy recommendations.

Suggested a year and a half ago, the measures wanted to prevent advertisers and site operators from following customers that didn't want to be followed. Web users would also get more information about what was happening to their data and would push for simpler privacy policies that could be stacked up against each other.

Some of the issues have been partly addressed over time. Facebook has been clearing up its privacy policies and giving users more control over how information is shared. Google may have partly addressed issues with its unified privacy policy, although it's now under fire both for possibly using this to follow users as well as for circumventing cookie settings.

What may go unaddressed are concerns over mobile privacy issues, such as location and access to contacts. Recent alerts have brought government investigations that could lead to related laws. [via The Verge]



By Electronista Staff
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