The Federal Communications Commission says it will not impose requirements on Google, Facebook, and other internet companies that make it harder for them to track users.
The announcement is in direct opposition to privacy advocates who had petitioned the agency for stronger Internet privacy rules.
Consumer Watchdog, an activist group, petitioned the FCC in June to support a technology that would allow consumers to signal to Web sites that they did not want to be tracked.
The proposal included a simple browser button that would enable a “do not track” feature to be honored by website operators.
While some websites have voluntarily decided to honor the Do Not Track feature, it has not yet become a standard feature in the United States.
While privacy groups want a Do Not Track feature that completely elimates all data about a user, online advertising groups say that would eliminate their ability to prevent from serving up targeted advertisements.
Those groups hope for a compromise that would keep user data private, while still allowing for targeted ad placements.