Facebook is now facing a likely federal investigation following the revelation that its cookies can track users Web surfing after they logged out of the world’s most popular social networking site. The worst outcome of such an investigation would be onerous legislation that would stifle innovation.
The call for the Federal Trade Commission to investigate, however, is a positive sign for people who care about privacy and innovation. While the FCC is notorious for seeking to employ powers it does not statutorily possess, the FTC has a long record of judicious use of its power. Regulation of some sort is inevitable in the privacy arena. Best it be a one-stop shop at the FTC.