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back to article Google, MS, Mozilla: Three 'Do Not Tracks' to woo them all

With the arrival of Microsoft's IE9 release candidate, we now have three separate "do not track" mechanisms from three separate browsers makers. There's room for them all. But it would be nice if we could agree a single mechanism that makes it as easy as possible for netizens to sidestep behavioral ad tracking, as the US Federal …

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Big Brother

of course

Even if all 3 got adopted, you can expect a lot of the add networks to just find some other way to track people. For this to work, a legal hammer (as in jail time + fines, not one or the other, both) was over the head of those who cheat.

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Alert

Agreed

I think the fact that these "do not track" mechanisms are being thought about shows that there is a more fundamental problem here. Even if these schemes work, are they really the answer? The real solution is that web sites should not be tracking anyone. And, as you suggest, legislation is probbaly the only way to make this happen.

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Grenade

Fixed that for you

"Advertisements are a necessary evil in the Web ecosystem"

I know they have to be there to support sites but any suggestion that advertisers want anything less than every single byte of data they can get is a lie - I don't like it but I can understand why it's the case.

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Silver badge

Each of these systems has merits

Mozilla's is very slick and simple, and ultimately comes closest to paralleling the do-not-call list that obviously inspired this. But of course that's only if it catches on, at the moment, it doesn't mean a thing.

Microsoft's is the only one backed up but technological measures, but to me, this doesn't sound anything like a do-not-track list at all. It sounds more like a shared kill-file, which IMHO is a great thing to build into a browser, but it's not a do-not-track list.

Google's solution is somewhere in between, it's not exactly enforced, but it works with existing cookie-based opt-out systems, so it can be expected it will at least do some good right away. On the other and, I don't see it as much of a step forward, it's kludge really.

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Grenade

ho hummmm

IE blows chunks and Mozilla is and has always been a flaky piece of work.

Chrome hasn't disappointed YET.

So I'll move along now.

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Bronze badge

Wow we made it 4 posts

Wow we made it 4 posts before we descended into the typical browser Religious war. Although I wonder how long it will be before someone says that Opera has had it all along, like they are apt to do.

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Ad's may be necessary...

... but they should respect that I'll click on the damn things if I'm interested and not charge companies for impressions that in actual fact represent me going "oh fuck I'm not buying XXX because it has an invasive advert"

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Anonymous Coward

Totally broken

To be honest the whole tracking thing is just the oily scum on a very deep, fetid cesspool. In their apparent desperation to shove some shouty, flashing, insistent ad on whatever bit of the page you happen to look, advertisers make themselves their own worst enemy, turning their 'victims' off in droves and pushing adblock plus downloads through the roof, at 850,000 a week its far and away the most popular Firefox download.

If ad networks could engage their brains and back off a bit, refraining from acting like a small yappy dog insistently trying to fuck the hole in your tennis shoe, the viewing public might not spend so much time studiously trying to avoid them like a dose of the clap.

They should learn from another group of parasites, viruses. Any virus too enthusiastic in doing its thing is going to kill its host, denying itself the opportunity to spread. Less sometimes really is more; ITV's increasing rapid demise is only accelerated by treating every theatrical pause in their (alleged) dramas as an ideal opportunity to pimp more banal shit at you at double the volume of the so-called programme. Surprise, surprise, you hit the mute button.

The whole track/advertise/avoid business is becoming an arms race, and despite current appearances to the contrary, I don't really think its one the ad networks will ultimately win.

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FAIL

Opt out? Opt in!

Why is everybody talking about opting out of this? Hasn't it been google who opted us all in? In which they took our freedom, forced something upon us that we didn't have a say in whether wanted it or not... Looking at Egypt / Tunisia, maybe a revolution is what we need and get rid of google alltogether...

In which case it should be google who opts us all out of any advertising... though luck if that breaks their operational financial model... I never asked google to show me shit everywhere.. Hell, I've got Sky to get rid of the shit (and don't tell me that you have Sky too and that you are still watching advertisements...)

People should have the freedom to say: I don't want that or I do want that. Now we don't have the freedom, and the freedom is not when one can only say "I don't want that". Freedom is choice. Choice between three or more things: 1) Status Quo 2) More shit 3) No shit at all...

And then who cares when sites that merely run on adverts all of a sudden cease to exist... If you're clever you can show on your landing page that this site is operated using adverts. Leave if you have to, or else accept and be silent... That would be something for the reg.... Akin pron sites that will ask you to either enter and be 18+ or just leave... I i then *want* to read el reg, I'll stick up with the ads...

Do we need tracking? No of course not. When I buy a newspaper, nobody knows whether I acted upon a printed ad... On TV? Nobody knows whether I acted upon a shown ad... Why do they have to know for the web? Just because??? Bullshit! and do they know? No of course not. Only google knows...

Stupid dictators.

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Block Third Party Cookies

The first setting I change in any browser is the 'Block Third Party Cookies' one

FF > Tools > Options > Privacy > Custom > Untick 'Allow Third Party Cookies'

Chrome > Options > Under The Hood > Privacy > Content Setting > Block All Third Party Cookies without Exception

IE > who cares?

Then install Adblock Plus with Easy List and Easy Privacy subscriptions.

So will these new settings make any difference?

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Anonymous Coward

LSO

The worst cookie of them all or as like to call it

Local Shared Objects (LSO)

The rest of us all call them Flash Cookies

I use this simple batch file that I place in Start/StartUp it kills the Flash Cookies dead every time I boot up windows.

@echo off

rem http://www.macromedia.com/support/documentation/en/flashplayer/help/settings_manager04.html

cd "%userprofile%\Application Data\Macromedia\Flash Player\"

del #SharedObjects /s /q/a *.sol

del macromedia.com /s /q /a *.sol

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Grenade

Why not do it this way...

Let's create a government agency where we could all file an opt-out form, containing the names of all companies and websites we do not want to be tracked by. Together with that form we submit a DNA sample, out of which (together with the mentioned list) a hash value will be calculated. We install a proxy app on our machines which will modify each HTTP request to include a specific do-not-track header, including that hash value, on a case-by-case basis. The target web server will then send an email to the registered email address asking you if you are sure that you do not want to be tracked; sign this email with the web server's public key to be downloaded from a central registry and send back as a reply.

Or, maybe, we just stick with the "Do-not-track" HTTP header. Your choice.

Am I the only one to think that this discussion is funny? For example, that those suggesting the more complicated methods are - coincidentally - those companies that do the most tracking? Install a browser extension my **** !

Why not ask Phorm to develop a do-not-track mechanism...?

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Jobs Horns

I wonder how popular an "Opt In" solution would be...

Opt In - to all the bullshit.

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