Internet Companies May No Longer Be Able To Track What You Watch

12.02.10 | Sarah Harnisch

  If you click on a book on fishing on Amazon dot com, suddenly, your email box is spammed with a dozen books on fishing. It's called predatory advertising. Amazon is one of thousands of companies that use it. Companies watch what you click on to target ads to what you like. But the game may be over soon. A brand new "do not track" measure could cut off advertiser's access. That means no more specialized ads based on how you use the web. An F.T.C. staff report issued Wednesday proposes a simple web browser mechanism that would allow consumers to review data collected about them and then choose not to be tracked by anyone. Some lawmakers are pushing for quick passage of a federal law mandating the option, which would be a button on your browser that you can turn on and off. A house subcommitee will hold a hearing today on the matter.