FTC Might Ban User Tracking

federal-trade-commission-ftc-logo_jpgAnalytics has been something of a blessing for website developers and search engine optimization companies all over the world. Programs that allow you to track your visitor activity have given businesses the ability to fortify their online marketing efforts by basing their strategies on hard evidence of user behavior. Using web analytics consulting to figure out what has drawn your visitors to your website, what has caught their attention, and what has helped them convert to potential business prospects has been the most valuable online marketing information a business could depend on. The FTC (Federal Trade Commission) however is looking to put a stop to this type of information in the name of user privacy stipulations.

“Do Not Track”

The FTC is trying to make it so that popular web browsers come standard with a “do not track” feature, which will allow consumers to choose whether or not websites can collect data that is based on their activity. This concept was originally published in a report called “Protecting Consumer Privacy in an Era of Rapid Change: A Proposed Framework for Businesses and Policymakers.” This report not only came with a very extensive title, it also came with the potential of being one of the most impactful documents for businesses who use online analytics programs to tailor their websites to be more effective.

What Could Happen?

If this motion passes, it could mean dramatic changes for businesses who use online advertising and analytics programs to increase the success of their businesses. In an age of online scams that have turned the web into the Wild West, consumers have become more conservative with who they share their information with. Having the option to not be tracked is going to appeal to a sizable portion of users who are concerned about being taken advantage of by malicious online hackers. It’s not that this information is being used by businesses to promote deception, but the potential information that could be disclosed by allowing websites to track your activity could be potentially harmful, if it finds its way into the wrong hands. But blocking businesses from being able to see what users have done on their site is restricting their ability to create an easier and more enjoyable experience for users. It probably would be best practice not to give all users the ability to put themselves under the radar for analytics programs, but instead, limit the access of websites that have the ability to track user activity.

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