Like the Do Not Call Registry, instituted by the Congress and the Federal Trade Commission, the feds have been looking into ways to restrict unwanted tracking online.
"The FTC is in the process of evaluating the feasibility of developing a Do Not Track Policy," said Claudia Bourne Farrell, a spokeswoman for the FTC. "The FTC has announced that it will be putting forth a privacy framework by the end of the year."
The Do Not Call Registry has more than 150 million telephone numbers logged into the system to prevent unwanted calls from telemarketers, though there are some exceptions such as political campaigns. But stopping the tracking of an Internet Protocol (IP) address, which identifies a particular computer on the Internet, is more difficult.
One possibility is for coding to be added to a person's browser that sends a signal to websites that tells the site that the person is on the Do Not Track Registry, says Peter Eckersley, senior technologist for the Electronic Frontier Foundation. But Eckersley says the most important step is to empower the FTC to establish a registry, as technology is constantly changing and will require new tools.