FCC Can’t Stop Facebook from Tracking Users

FCCThe Federal Communications Commission (FCC) says it cannot force companies like Google, Facebook, or generic ad providers from tracking users online.

The privacy advocacy group Consumer Watchdog has been petitioning the commission to make the “Do Not Track” setting in browsers illegal to ignore. It sends a signal when visiting websites that supposedly limits the amount of data that can be collected. However, this reduced collection must be voluntary and the “Do Not Track” setting is simply a preference.

The FCC said in a written order that enforcing the “Do Not Track” setting actually falls out of its jurisdiction.

“The Commission has been unequivocal in declaring that it has no intent to regulate edge providers,” read the statement. “We therefore find that the Consumer Watchdog Petition plainly does not warrant consideration by the Commission.”

Edge providers like Microsoft and Twitter provide services on the Internet without actually selling Internet connections.

Consumer Watchdogs is understandably unhappy with the decision, but will not give up its pursuit.

“We believe that the FCC has the authority to enforce Internet privacy protections far more broadly than they have opted to do,” said John Simpson, the director of Consumer Watchdog’s Privacy Project, in a statement. “Requiring that Do Not Track requests be honored is a simple way to give people necessary control of their information and is in no way an attempt to regulate the content of the Internet.”

*Source: NBC News