Jonathan Mayer - Do Not Track: Technology, Policy, and Politics

November 29, 2011

Web tracking is pervasive: the average popular website incorporates over fifty third-party tracking mechanisms. And web tracking is unpopular: a majority of Americans oppose the practice. Do Not Track is a technology and policy response that would provide users with a simple, universal web tracking opt out. Both the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Commerce have signaled support. This talk explores central questions in the ongoing web privacy debate:

* What information do third parties collect about users?
* What technologies do third parties use to track users?
* What limits does the online advertising industry's self-regulation impose?
* What should Do Not Track prohibit?
* Who should enforce it, and how?
* What would the economic impact be?
* Could it actually happen?

Speaker's Bio:

Jonathan Mayer is a computer science Ph.D. student and 3L at Stanford University. He graduated from Princeton University in 2009 with a concentration in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. Jonathan's area of study encompasses the intersections of policy, law, and computer science - with particular emphasis on national security and international relations. Jonathan works extensively with the Stanford Security Laboratory within the Computer Science Department and the Center for Internet and Society within the Stanford Law School.

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