Barney's Blog

Blog archive

IE 10 'Do Not Track' Attacked by Trackers

I read the headline, "IE 10's 'Do No Track' Setting Under Attack" and wondered what on earth could be wrong with this privacy feature?

Then I found out that the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) is the one with all the complaints. Here's what they whined to Steve Ballmer about: Do Not Track "will undercut the effectiveness of our members' advertising and, as a result, drastically damage the online experience by reducing the Internet content and offerings that such advertising supports. This result will harm consumers, hurt competition, and undermine American innovation and leadership in the Internet economy." Wow. Sounds like Do Not Tack, not communism, is the true enemy of capitalism.

Do Not Track is on by default in IE 10 and simply tells the advertisers that the end user doesn't want to be tracked.

While other browsers have the feature, users have to opt-in. The ANA apparently worries that almost no IE 10 will turn tracking on. And this is actually bad for the user. Here's the logic: If you can turn off tracking, it's like turning off TV commercials. The result is that advertising will suffer and these advertisers won't be able to "subsidize Internet offerings, or pay more for offerings that they currently enjoy for free or at a low cost."

But no one says Internet advertisers have to stop advertising. They just can't spy on what we do.

This may all be moot as some advertisers are expected to ignore or bypass the Do Not Track settings and track us anyway. What do you make of all this? Let us all know by writing to dbarney@redmondmag.com.

Posted by Doug Barney on 10/17/2012 at 1:19 PM


comments powered by Disqus

Reader Comments:

Wed, Oct 17, 2012

One of these days, companies that advertise to geeks will realize most geeks run ad-blocker, and never see their ads. And then the web sites that depend on that revenue will go away.

Wed, Oct 17, 2012 Ed Colorado

Do Not Track is a great idea, but having it voluntary by advertisers is like putting a sticky note on your car saying "Please do not steal anything in here." It should be mandatory and criminally enforceable.

Wed, Oct 17, 2012

End of the day - Big Money Rules and in our Capatalist world only the Corp Enterprise wins...

Wed, Oct 17, 2012 Fred NOLA

All most makes me want to use IE 10

Wed, Oct 17, 2012 Nige Uk

I feel there is technical merit in the comments above but I also feel the writer is missing the point which is the customer is always right. This is not a rebellion against technical accuracy but a good example of humans being human, cope with it or fail

Wed, Oct 17, 2012 Craig (part 2)

Sometimes it makes me want to take a GPS with a magmount and as these ad guys leave the parking garage, attach one to their car. When they complain, simply say by using this garage you gave permision to track you and you didn't opt out, so we are tracking you.

Wed, Oct 17, 2012 Craig

Do Not Track only tells the web site that the user does not watn to be tracked. It doesn't actually block anything, it's only a flag. Since most people most likely don't want to be tracked, Microsoft has turned on Do Not Track, though if users want to be tracked they can turn this off. Even with DNT turned on advertisers can still display ads, just like they do with TV, Radio, Magazines, etc, just no user tracking. Of course the web site can ignore this flag and track users anyhow (at least unitl those users use adblock, noscript, etc).

Add Your Comment Now:

Your Name:(optional)
Your Email:(optional)
Your Location:(optional)
Comment:
Please type the letters/numbers you see above

Redmond Tech Watch

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.