The Do Not Track browser setting may be common, and it may even make people feel a little bit secure, but Yahoo has become the latest company to ignore the setting. No longer will Yahoo avoid tracking users for advertising purposes, because according to Yahoo, personalized settings are what is really important.
By personalized, Yahoo means that users should have to individually set their privacy settings on each site that they visit instead of relying on a standard like Do Not Track to automatically boost privacy.
Invasive advertising has been around for a while and as it has gotten more invasive, so has the outrage surrounding it. Unfortunately, initiatives like Do Not Track require sites and ad networks to respect the standard and abide by it. Since there is obviously no requirement for them to do so, very few companies have gotten on-board with DNT.
One of the few ad agencies that does support DNT is Chitika, but outside of that, Google, Facebook, Yahoo, and others do not. As far as popular websites go, Twitter is the only one that says it will not track users in order to collect advertising data if they have DNT enabled.
Two points were conveyed in Yahoo’s announcement Thursday regarding its decision to stop obeying Do Not Track. The first is that since the majority of web-based companies do not support it, neither should Yahoo and secondly, a personalized web is the best kind of web. At the very least, Yahoo’s latter claim does line-up with previous actions. Even though Yahoo respected DNT in the past, it did not support the setting in 2012 when Microsoft turned it on by default for all Internet Explorer users.
The advertising industry as a whole has not been in favor of initiatives like Do Not Track, so it looks like DNT is simply not destined to change the web.
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Summary: Yahoo says that it will no longer support Do Not Track. Therefore, if someone has it enabled, Yahoo will still track users for advertising purposes.
image credit: economist