Microsoft has let it be known that their final release of the Internet Explorer 10 web browser software will have “Do Not Track” activated right out of the box. This information has upset advertisers across the board as web ad targeting – based on your online activities – is one of the current mainstays of big-time advertiser profits. What Do Not Track, or DNT does is to send out signal from your web browser, Internet Explorer 10 in this case, to websites letting them know that the user refuses to be seen in such a way.
A very similar Do Not Track feature currently exists on Mozilla’s Firefox browser and is swiftly becoming ubiquitous around the web as a must-have feature for web privacy. This will very likely bring about a large change in the world of online advertising specifically as, again, advertisers rely on invisible tracking methods so heavily. Tracking in place today also exists on sites such as Google where your search history will inform Google on what you’d like to see for search results, News posts, and advertisement content.
The Digital Advertising Aliance, or DAA, has countered Microsoft’s announcement saying that the IE10 browser release would oppose Microsoft’s agreement with the White House earlier this year. This agreement had the DAA agreeing to recognize and obey the Do Not Track signals from IE10 just so long as the option to have DNT activated was not turned on by default. Microsoft Chief Privacy Officer Brendan Lynch spoke up this week on the situation this week as well.
“In a world where consumers live a large part of their lives online, it is critical that we build trust that their personal information will be treated with respect, and that they will be given a choice to have their information used for unexpected purposes.
While there is still work to do in agreeing on an industry-wide definition of DNT, we believe turning on Do Not Track by default in IE10 on Windows 8 is an important step in this process of establishing privacy by default, putting consumers in control and building trust online.” – Lynch
What do you think, web users? Do you think Do Not Track should be a default on all web browsers, or that it should be an opt-in sort of situation?
[via Wall Street Journal]