Do Not Track, Silver Bullets, and Long-Term Privacy Protection

May 6, 2013

by Adam Thierer
Technology Liberation Front

Today over at the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) Daily Dashboard blog, I have a guest post entitled, “Let’s Not Place All Our Eggs in the Do Not Track Basket.” The essay builds on my Senate Commerce Committee testimony last week by arguing that:

If there’s one lesson I’ve learned in twenty-one years of covering information technology policy, it’s that there are no simple silver-bullet solutions to complex issues like online safety, hate speech, spam, cybersecurity, data breaches or digital privacy. Problems such as these demand a layered, multifaceted approach that incorporates many solutions, the first among these being education and awareness-based efforts.

I continue on to explain why that means we should be cautious about placing too much faith in privacy techno-fixes like Do Not Track, which won’t likely be any more successful than past silver bullet efforts. (Note: Justin Brookman of CDT will be offering a counterpoint to my essay next week on the IAPP blog. I look forward to seeing what he has to say. He also testified alongside me in the Senate last week.)

By the way, for those of you not familiar with the IAPP, it is “the largest and most comprehensive global information privacy community and resource, helping practitioners develop and advance their careers and organizations manage and protect their data. More than just a professional association, the IAPP provides a home for privacy professionals around the world to gather, share experiences and enrich their knowledge.” In my opinion, the IAPP is doing amazing work and deserves the attention of anyone who cares about the future of privacy and privacy policy. I strongly recommend you check out their excellent site and explore all the important resources they provide and other things they do.

Anyway, if you are interested in the issues discussed in my IAPP guest post, you might also want to check out some of the related essays down below the fold:

Additional Reading:

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