Do Not Track Initiatives: Regaining the Lost User Control
Irene Kamara, Eleni Kosta, Do Not Track initiatives: regaining the lost user control, International Data Privacy Law, Volume 6, Issue 4, November 2016, Pages 276–290
31 Pages Posted: 23 Oct 2019 Last revised: 13 Jan 2023
Date Written: November 1, 2016
Online tracking for behavioural advertising purposes facilitates the shift from traditional marketing to web-personalization with ads tailored to Internet users’ preferences and interests. To that end, user profiles are developed based on the information collected via the use of several technologies, including cookies, web-beacons, device- and browser fingerprinting, and others.
The collected information in most cases qualifies as personal data and is therefore subject to data protection legislation. In practice, users are often not aware of the behavioural tracking activity and if they are, they have no control over it. To respond to the lack of awareness, user control, and effective regulatory solutions, the Do Not Track initiative was established in the USA, and also later endorsed by the European Commission. The rationale of Do Not Track is simple: users should be enabled to express whether they wish to be tracked by advertising companies on the Internet and their wish, once expressed, should be respected.
Keywords: Do Not Track, tracking, GDPR, profiling, ePrivacy, cookies, personal data
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