The Federal Communications Commission has finally clarified on Friday that it is not going to impose such requirements on websites such as Google and Facebook which is going to make it harder for them in case they want to track their consumer’s online activities.
The latest announcement did the job of upsetting those people who were in favour of the stronger privacy rules. Their point was that the time spent on the internet surfing should be private and any intrusion from other parties is a case of violation of their freedom. However, the government disagreed with them, and hence, the decision. It’s a definite win for many Silicon Valley companies whose business model is dependent on the personal information provided by the users.
It can also be seen as the latest move in order to defend the agency’s net neutrality rules, which has somehow become a national topic of discussion. The opponents are giving out plain warning that it’s going to regulate some of the most popular online services and websites and that the experience of using the internet will never be the same. A senior agency official said that the rules that are in action since summer are allowing the FCC to regulate only providers of Internet access and not the stand alone individual websites.
An activist group known as Consumer Watchdog, petitioned the FCC in June in support of a certain technology that allows the users to signal to some websites that they would never want to be tracked. To make it happen, the consumers just have to press a button in the browser settings in order to send a message that they do not want it to be tracked while they are surfing the internet.
Some websites may have agreed to it, but then there are some exceptions as well. If the step was a success, the petition could very well have made Do Not Track a US standard.
Giving away a good sign of its growing ambitions, FCC has worked to dramatically increase its role in combating the privacy rules violation that happens quite a lot among the top communication providers.
We can also say that the agency appears to be stopping a little short in the direction of establishing privacy rules for the Website operators, it is still in the process of studying how net neutrality will allow it as it wants to set some new privacy expectations for the internet providers.