Surfing the web is a daily occurrence for many Americans. According to ComScore Data Mine, the average American spends 32 hours per month online, with nearly a quarter of that usage going towards social networking sites. But every hour spent online gives advertising networks information about you. " I do like the option of not being tracked, I do think it's weird to have someone tracking everything you do," said Chico resident Michael Seidman.
Government regulators are putting pressure on the online advertising industry, which uses your web history to tailor adds directed at you. The tracking protection group of the World Wide Web Consortium is working on a set of rules for how online companies can use your information. And soon, many websites may be forced to add a "do not track" option for online visitors. Many large browsers like Internet Explorer, Safari, and Firefox already feature a do not track option. When enabled it keeps websites and advertising networks from using your information for targeted advertising. More than 10-million internet users already use the do not track option from the browsers and websites that offer it. " I do think that you should have the option to have them not track you, I would prefer that as a customer," said Chico resident Nathaniel Curry.
But others say getting targeted by advertisements is the price you pay. " When people choose to use these sites, they should be choosing to accept the advertisements as well," said Chico resident Mallory Vader. An internet industry task force has been put together to determine how much privacy users can be granted. " You're putting information on the internet, so if you're choosing to do that, then you're choosing to just put it out there for whoever is out there to see it," said Vader.