Last updated: August 5, 2010 - 6:58pm
Reps Ed Markey (D-MA) and Joe Barton (R-TX) sent a letter to 15 companies identified in a recent Wall Street Journal investigation as reportedly installing intrusive consumer-tracking technologies to track and/or target consumers visiting these company websites. The lawmakers asked for information on the companies' tracking and/or targeting of consumers on the Internet, which is enabled when users visit the firms' web sites.
Reps. Markey and Barton asked a range of questions, including:
- What information about consumers does your company collect, either through your own website or through business relationships with third parties?
- Do have business relationships with third parties, including analytics firms?
- How does your company collect such information (e.g., cookies, beacons, Flash cookies, other surveillance technologies)?
- Does your company serve different pages to visitors, based on information derived from tracking devices? If yes, please explain.
- Does your company target individuals based on their health or financial status? Are there any user search or usage habits that your company will not use for targeting purposes or tracking? If yes, what are they?
- If your company tracks or targets visitors, how does it notify visitors to your company's site of this practice? If it does not provide notification, why not?
- If a user does not want to be tracked or targeted upon visiting your site, how would the user effectuate this preference?
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