The White House recently released a ground-breaking consumer privacy bill of rights. The bill would allow individuals to opt-out of the tracking of their behavior online. In President Obama's introduction to this bill he provides the following explanation as to why it is so timely and important:
One thing should be clear, even though we live in a world in which we share personal information more freely than in the past, we must reject the conclusion that privacy is an outmoded value. It has been at the heart of our democracy from its inception, and we need it now more than ever.
Despite this major step towards protecting individual's privacy online, Congress must still write legislation to make this digital dream a reality. However, in-light of the recent Path privacy scandal, many companies like Apple and Google are already moving in this direction, by more clearly defining their privacy policies and tightening restrictions on private data collection for third-party developers. Read more about the role of the California Attorney General in these mandates here. Perhaps one day soon, individuals will be able to click a button and targeted ads will disappear... or become a bit less "creepy."