[caption id="attachment_68644" align="alignleft" width="161" caption="Online publishers, advertisers and ad networks use "cookies," Web beacons and other sophisticated tracking tools to follow consumers around the Internet"][/caption]

The federal government has put Google, Microsoft, Apple and other technology companies on notice: Give consumers a way prevent advertisers from tracking their movements across the Web — or face regulation.

Yet for all its innovative know-how and entrepreneurial spirit, the technology industry has yet to agree on a simple, meaningful solution to protect consumer privacy on the Internet.

So privacy watchdogs and lawmakers are


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