Momentum grows to registry to stop tech companies from tracking users

Momentum grows to registry to stop tech companies from tracking users

[Ed. – Goes double for Facebook]

Legislation to stop tech companies from tracking users online is finding new momentum as Congress seeks to crack down on big tech’s privacy practices.

On Tuesday, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) unveiled a “Do Not Track” bill with tough penalties for companies who break its protections, reviving a debate over whether users should be allowed to opt out of the tracking and data collection that comprise the core of many top tech companies’ business models.

Efforts to create a Do Not Track registry have hit roadblocks for more than a decade, but consumer advocates and tech industry critics say Hawley’s bill could find better traction amid a larger backlash against tech behemoths including Google, Facebook and Amazon.

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Gabriel Weinberg, the CEO and founder of privacy-oriented search engine DuckDuckGo, told The Hill Americans are more concerned about privacy issues than they were a decade ago, when the first conversations about a Do Not Track registry gained prominence.

He said those efforts occurred before privacy became “mainstream,” pointing to a spate of highly public surveillance- and privacy-related scandals over the past decade.

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