back to article EU: Time running out for web companies on 'do not track' system

Internet companies have been urged to establish a final standardised system that will allow users to control their privacy settings across websites. Neelie Kroes, EU Commissioner responsible for the Digital Agenda, reiterated her demand that the technology be agreed upon by June in a speech at a meeting of the World Wide Web …

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Anonymous Coward

Do Not Track

Period, it means i dont want any ads, crap snake oil links or whatever.

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Nearly

It means you get ads, just not targetted.

I'd like to see what Google do with that.

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I presume...

You think it would be reasonable for an ad-funded Web site to ask users if they would like to see ads and if they so no simply redirect to a 'Goodbye' page?

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Alert

I presume...

@Chris 3: I presume you don't use the fast-forward button?

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Some Do

I've bumped into the occasional website that wanted me to disable my ad-blocking software in order that the site would work. I went elsewhere.

I'd like to be able to specify NO FLASHING ADS. If I happen to notice what's on such an ad, I make a point of not buying their services/product anyway.

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Anonymous Coward

aw, poor snooping / tracking / advertising companies

Impose DNT ruthlessly and let them crap themselves. Corporate death penalty for violators.

They deserve it.

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Anonymous Coward

Is there any chance?

Any chance that a worthwhile, well written and achievable ruling will replace the current directive on cookies?

Thought not.

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It's still the wrong way round

It should be "Please Track" with the assumption of "Do Not Track" unless the consumer has given informed consent (and that means no pre-filled check boxes or other shite).

A DNT opt-out cookie (or whatever) can't work as the consumer has to opt-out in each browser on each OS.

And consumer privacy trumps anyone's profits. Or it should do.

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>And consumer privacy trumps anyone's profits. Or it should do.

Which is fair enough as long as everyone is happy to be redirected to a 'Goodbye' page.

Personally I think that the Directive is fine, in general but yes I do use Google Analytics to track how the site being used, what content is most popular, what keywords are being searched for etc. The Directive effectively outlaws the use of Google Analytics without someone explicitly opting in. That's going to cause a lot of pain for Web sites that aren't otherwise intrusive in terms of privacy.

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No Cookie

As part of my privacy attempts, I delete all cookies regularly, so a DNT cookie wouldn't survive. Unless it's a generic cookie used by all people opting out, it's still a trackable cookie even if they're not supposed to track it.

An http header explicitly allowing tracking is what should be used - no header, no tracking.

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Exactly.

Any cookie based solution is doomed to failure.

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Unfortunately not all companies are based within the EU so even if you choose do not track on EU based websites there is nothing to stop websites based outside the EU tracking your activity through cookies.

If you don't want to be tracked on sites outside the EU then only surf the net running from a live CD or virtual pc where no settings get saved when you shut down, remove flash and install No script. but if your THAT paranoid about what people are tracking you should probably be super safe and use TOR also.

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Mushroom

How do you think "free" services get paid for?

While I hold no brief for "Big Business", we have to have a bit of a reality check here, in order to stop the whining.

Tracking allows free services (yes, like Google) to improve their revenue by offering ads that are "more relevant". Now, if we want to say "don't track me", that's fine, but don't expect to get the same service -- either we'll have to pay, or we'll get a second-class version relative to those who agree to tracking. The service providers' marketing departments will have to decide just how far they go with it, and the market will work it out. Just don't expect "something for nothing".

Anything wrong with that?

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Or, you know, Google (in your example) could just serve me an advert? People that mute the TV during advert breaks still get to see the same programmes as those who watch the adverts intently. I see no real difference between muting the tv and DNT, both involve only wanting the bare minimum of advertising.

And anyway, my privacy trumps their need to stay afloat by some distance.

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FAIL

ICO still not compliant

The ICO guidance says cookies may only be used without permission where essential to the functioning of the site, and they dump a session cookie immediately upon visiting the site. They say of the cookie (on their privacy page) "This cookie is essential for the online notification form – the form that data controllers can use to notify with the ICO – to operate and is set upon your arrival to the ICO site. This cookie is deleted when you close your browser."

Well, that's not essential for the site is it? It may be essential for part of the site, but the site does a lot more than that.

Thus demonstrating that even the body responsible for enforcing the law can't conform itself!

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Big Brother

Free services?

I do think the ads are pushing up the price of the products that are being advertised. Ads need to be paid for as well. So, we are actually paying more money for products so they can bombard us with ads on every occasion they get, be it TV, websites, magazines, etc...

And yes, I would rather pay for a decent service without ads, than suffer all the braindead drivel we are continuously annoyed with. Example? BBC iPlayer Global Edition - I pay happily € 6,00 every month to be able to watch excellent programs without ads.

AdBlock does a decent job on the web though.

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Keep it up, Neelie !

And while we're waiting, there's always Adblock Plus - thank you, Wladimir Palant !...

Henri

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