Katie Couric's Notebook: Targeted Ads

It seems to happen any time we shop on-line.

Browse for new shoes, and suddenly you get ads from shoe stores. Check the price of a flight to Florida and see ads from hotels there. That's no coincidence, of course. Web sites have gotten very good at tracking us.

Now, momentum is growing to let consumers say "no more." The Federal Trade Commission is considering a plan to force web sites to offer a "do not track" option - like the "do not call" list that limited those dinner time interruptions.

Hoping to avoid regulation, some tracking companies have already signed on to a voluntary effort. The web site "about ads-dot-info" lets consumers opt out from targeted ads. 

Right now, only 20 percent of tracking companies participate. So, there isn't a final solution yet...but eventually you may be able to order those shoes...without someone following you every step of the way.

That's a page from my notebook.

I'm Katie Couric, CBS News.


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