storagedude writes "Threatened by the prospect of tougher US online privacy legislation, a handful of data collection companies have banded together to create a voluntary system for consumers to see what information companies have and to opt out of cookies or edit the data collected. The Better Advertising Project's Open Data Partnership is a long way from a viable solution — scores of tracking and big-name online companies have yet to sign on to the effort — but it is nonetheless the first attempt to put all this online tracking data in one place. Coupled with Microsoft's announcement this week that it plans to add a do-not-track mechanism to IE9, it appears that the FTC's call for a do-not-track system may be gaining some traction. The Open Data Partnership will be particularly interesting, as consumers will be getting a good look at the data collected about them. Better Advertising already lets consumers opt out of some behavioral ad targeting, and about 5% of those who click through to learn more actually opt out (PDF, slide 5). It will be interesting to see if the opt-out rate changes after consumers see what data is actually collected." To be clear, they aren't saying they'll stop collecting the data. They'll just make it available to users and let people opt out of getting ads based on the information, or simply remove anything they don't want shared.
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