SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS/AP) – Federal regulators are proposing the creation of a “Do Not Track” list for the Internet. It would allow people to prevent Internet marketers from tracking their web-browsing habits for targeted advertising.

KCBS’ Holly Quan Reports:

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The proposal, modeled after the government’s existing Do Not Call List, is one of a series of recommendations outlined in a new privacy report released by the Federal Trade Commission Wednesday. The report lays out a broad framework for protecting consumer privacy both online and offline as personal data collection becomes ubiquitous, often without consumer knowledge.

Right now, the industry is self regulated which is why Jim Steyer head of San Francisco-based Common Sense Media is pushing for even stricter regulation.

“This is a first step, and an important step, but when it comes to kids, and teens in particular, we need to do far more,” said Steyer.

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What the FTC came out with are recommendations which is why Peninsula Congresswoman Jackie Speier has spent the last three months crafting legislation that would require a notification on websites, an opt out pop up of sorts that would let people avoid tracking.

“The average consumer doesn’t know this is going on,” said Speier. “The frightening part of it is that they’re being profiled, and those profiles are probably being used in manners that we have no idea about. Say we’re trying to get insurance, and suddenly we’re getting charged a higher premium because they’ve tracked us going to WebMD and they think we’re sick.”

The FTC hopes the report will help inform lawmakers and other policymakers as they draft new rules of the road to protect privacy, and guide the marketing industry as it develops self-regulatory principles to define acceptable corporate behavior.

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