Student fellow Jonathan Mayer is the featured guest on a Martketplace radio broadcast covering the Do Not Track List option now available to web users. Here is a description and link to the interview:
The idea of a Do Not Track list for web users has been kicked around for a while. After the relative success of the Do Not Call telemarketing list, it seems like an easy and practical way for people to choose not to be tracked around the Internet by online advertisers.
Imagine going to a store at the mall. You do your shopping, you pay, and then you walk out the door. Except someone from the store follows you. They get in your car, they write down what other stores you go to and what you shop for there. Then they bring you advertisements of things you might want to buy. Convenient? Maybe a little. But kind of a loss of privacy too and more than a little creepy.
We also talk to Jonathan Mayer, a senior fellow at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society and one of the people behind donottrack.us, a project to develop a way to opt out. He says it's similar to the Do Not Call list but since there is no standard (like phone numbers) there are some complexities to work out.