For Weinberg, that’s where the government would come in. His bill would institute strict rules for how to treat users that use that opt-out setting, and clear penalties for sites and ad networks that don’t follow the rules. “What you need to do,” Weinberg says, “is have the government establish what opting out of tracking really means.”
Despite supporting this for various reasons, when I read that last line I thought, “we’re doomed”.
Not everyone’s convinced. Most of the groups involved in the initial push for Do Not Track have moved on to other projects, leaving no clear coalition to pick up the torch. World Privacy Forum director Pam Dixon, who was one of the masterminds of the initial standard, now thinks the focus on browser-based protections is too narrow. “I think that instead of pushing Do Not Track, it is better right now to focus on how we can set up a process for a fair and equitable and workable privacy standards setting methodology,” Dixon says. “DNT could be one of those, as well as hopefully hundreds of others.”