Most consumers are familiar with do-not-call lists, which are meant to keep telemarketers from phoning them. Soon people will be able to sign up for do-not-track lists, which will help shield their Web surfing habits from the prying eyes of marketers. Such lists will not reduce the number of ads that people see online, but they will prevent advertisers from using their online meanderings to deliver specific ad pitches to them. Today the AOL division of Time Warner will announce a service of this type, which will be up and running by the end of the year. Other programs are likely to be articulated soon, as online advertisers prepare for a two-day forum on privacy to be held by the Federal Trade Commission.
Online Marketers Joining Internet Privacy Efforts, New York Times, October 31, 2007.