Ars Technica reports that the Federal Trade Commission has released a report (PDF) that urges social networks to offer an "opt out" on behaviorial advertising. The "Opt Out" would serve users much like the "Do Not Call" list aids telephone customers.. at least in theory. The difference between the "Do Not Call" list and an Opt Out option on social networks is that the social network owners would have to provide the option on-site. This proposed list, according to Ars Technica, would be maintained via cookies. A sliver of the report:
"The most practical method of providing uniform choice for online behavioral advertising would likely involve placing a setting similar to a persistent cookie on a consumer's browser and conveying that setting to sites that the browser visits, to signal whether or not the consumer wants to be tracked or receive targeted advertisements."
The report urges social networks to provide more security when it comes to user data and offer simplified privacy rules as well. The FTC says that these things could be implemented by industry standards or through legislation, but there needs to be enforcement and compliance.
Right now the FTC is soliciting public comment on the topic.