Do Not Track was a standardized way for browsers to tell services that their owners did not consent to having their activities and usage logged; however, it was subverted by Big Tech and big media companies and turned into a useless tick-box that had virtually no impact on your privacy.
Now, Senator Ron Wyden [D-OR] (previously) is circulating a characteristically right-on piece of draft online privacy legislation called the Mind Your Own Business Act that would give Do Not Track settings the force of law.
Additionally, the MYOBA allows the FTC to set service-specific privacy and security rules for each Big Tech company and to punish failures to adhere to those rules, with fines of up to 4% of annual global revenues for first offenses. States' attorneys general would also have enforcement powers under the act.
FTC Chairman Joe Simons has pleaded with Congress to empower the Commission with new authorities to fine companies for first-time privacy violations. Wyden’s bill would do just that, and also make it a crime for senior executives of tech companies to knowingly lie to the agency in regards to privacy.
“Consumers must be able to control their own private information, companies must provide vastly more transparency about how they use and share our data,” Wyden said. “Corporate executives need to be held personally responsible when they lie about protecting our personal information.”
State attorneys general would be able to enforce the regulations in the Mind Your Own Business Act, too, putting more “cops on the privacy beat” other than just the FTC, according to a press release for the measure.
Ron Wyden wants Facebook to ‘mind your own business’ with new privacy bill [Makena Kelly/The Verge]