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Commerce Dept. Preps Internet Privacy Report

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Ratcheting up what is fast becoming a hot button issue on Capitol Hill, The Commerce Department is set to weigh in with the release of its report on Internet privacy late Thursday morning (Dec. 16).

The report is expected to echo many of the same concerns and suggestions outlined in the Federal Trade Commission's issued two weeks ago.

Despite self-regulation programs launched last fall by the Internet advertising community, the FTC concluded those efforts weren't moving fast enough. The FTC suggested a universal "Do Not Track" mechanism as a solution to privacy concerns. Since then, the advertising and Internet industries have stepped up their lobbying to explain the many self-regulatory systems that have been initiated. About 5 billion ads have been tagged with the privacy icon that allows consumers to opt-out.

Microsoft also introduced a new privacy feature that will debut with the release of Internet Explorer 9.