From the MAPPS Blog Post 12/17/10:
On December 1, 2010, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) staff issued a report on privacy. While the news media has focused on the proposed, voluntary “Do Not Track” program for web browsers (similar to the “Do Not Call” list for telemarketers), what has gone relatively unnoticed is the fact that the FTC is also proposing regulations and policies that will shut down the geospatial community. Please peruse the FTC news release and the full text of the FTC report. On page 61 it reads, “The Commission staff has supported affirmative express consent where companies collect sensitive information for online behavioral advertising and continues to believe that certain types of sensitive information warrant special protection, such as information about children, financial and medical information, and precise geolocation data. Thus, before any of this data is collected, used, or shared, staff believes that companies should seek affirmative express consent.”
MAPPS is “on the case” and looking for community support and examples the sorts of geospatial work the proposed policies will prohibit.