back to article Top admen beg Microsoft to switch off 'Do Not Track' in IE 10

Microsoft is in hot water with big-brand advertisers over its implementation of Do-Not-Track by default in the latest iteration of its Internet Explorer browser. The ad-slingers say Internet Explorer 10’s Do-Not-Track feature will hurt advertisers, consumers and competition. The Association of National Advertisers (ANA) has …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Igamogam
    Thumb Up

    Or Conversly...

    If Microsoft moves forward with this default setting, it will help its customers by reducing advertising and, as a result, drastically improve the online experience by reducing the junk Internet content and offerings that such advertising supports. This result will improve consumers experience, improve privacy, and demonstrate American innovation and leadership in the internet economy.

    No contest.

    1. The BigYin

      It won't help

      The companies will just ignore it. Like they were probably going to do anyway.

      1. Arctic fox
        Megaphone

        @The BigYin Re: "It won't help....The companies will just ignore it...."

        Indeed, that is precisely what they will likely do. However, that will also result in them placing themselves right in the spotlight, hmm? I agree that Redmond's move will not in and of itself change the situation (in practice) but it does in fact put the cross-hairs in the political sense squarely on the backs of the companies concerned. No, I do not see MS as any big hero here but they have IMO, for whatever reason, made the right move. The reason why these companies are protesting like fuck despite the fact, as has been pointed out, it has no enforceability is precisely because this move by "The Great Satan" has in fact (no doubt for their own reasons) put those buggers right on the spot.

    2. PJ H

      "...it will help its customers by reducing advertising..."

      No. It won't. DNT is not intended to reduce the amount of adverts, just what those adverts might be; it's "Do not Track", not "Do not Advertise."

      All they're complaining about is the fact that they're supposed to promise not to track their viewers; not that some of the advertisers are honouring the DNT to begin with.

      1. Alan W. Rateliff, II
        Paris Hilton

        No method of compliance checking

        Unlike a phone call which clearly informs you who is honoring the "Do Not Call" list, there is (currently) no way for the end user to determine whether or not a web site is honoring your "Do Not Track" request. Once such a mechanism is in place, or some individual or investigative journalist sets out to make these determinations, said violators can be publicly shamed.

        But the real question is, will they (the violators) care? The answer is, in all likelihood, a resounding NO. At least unless someone or a group of someones can prove damages and therefore sue the violators. I believe this is due to a large number of consumers having given in to the warped sense of commerce which tells them that the lowest price or best discount, irrespective of the reputation of the entity providing the offer, is the one to choose. In corollary, a smaller number of people -- which do exist, just in comparatively smaller numbers -- genuinely vote with their dollars and will pay a higher amount if it means not dealing with shady characters.

        Paris, violating the violator.

      2. (AMPC) Anonymous and mostly paranoid coward
        Windows

        So right

        I've been using DNT in three browsers (chrome, FF and IE) for months and here is my verdict

        a) anything that stops advertisers or other parties from tracking people's online activity is a good idea, YAY Microsoft.

        b) DNT works reasonably well under Chrome, great under FF, but breaks IE9 every 5 minutes. The IE10 upgrade will be installed on my box, if it performs as advertised. Otherwise, I will be sticking with its competitors

        c) As pointed out, there is a difference between advertising and tracking. I don't want ads all over my page, but accept that they help web site operators pay the bills. What I do resent is people hoovering up where I have been and what my favorite pages are etc and then monetizing it or worse. A Minority Report life experience is not really what I want for myself or my kids.

        We need to fight back before privacy becomes a quaint old-fashioned notion. This will help set the example

    3. Grikath Silver badge

      It will not reduce advertising at all. It will simply eat into the more profitable data harvesting the ad giants do on a regular basis *IF* said ad giants actually keep their promise to honour that tag.

      But seriously, advertisers complaining about how a privacy setting would eat into their profits. Really says enough on how much foot-wiping they already have done on peoples' privacy already.

    4. badmonkey
      Devil

      >>> This result will improve consumers experience, improve privacy, and demonstrate American innovation and leadership in the internet economy.

      You're right, a "please don't fuck me over" scrap of data added to a client header which a vast number of webmasters will just treat with mild bemusement, not to mention all the Apache servers that will ignore it completely, will totally do that. Hell why didn't they do it earlier.

      Idiot.

      The "admen" are correct in saying that a default setting of on is completely counter-productive. Obviously you would, as a webmaster, now ignore all MSIE settings of the header, because it has been made totally meaningless.

      It always was destined to be ignored though. Unless it is regulated, why would any webmaster implement it? The notion is bizarre. If you don't want to be "tracked", maybe try configuring your browser so it doesn't enthusiastically cooperate. After all, it is your own software that provides the relevant data. Asking the server to do it for you because you're too thick to take responsibility for yourself is ridiculous - and a false security as the real problem causers, the spammers et al, will definitely ignore your plaintive little header.

      GET /butthole-pirates-tracker-ad.swf HTTP/1.1

      Host: www.you-safe-with-us-honest.ru

      Cookie: lolz=schmuck_number_69; interests=gay_porn

      If-Modified-Since: Wed, 03 Oct 2012 01:23:45 GMT

      DNT: 1

      You do realize that your browser, any browser, including MSIE 10, would happily send the above headers? And how utterly fucking stupid that situation would be?

      Give me a break.

      1. h4rm0ny

        You say this is useless without regulation. If we don't build such a system, then it cannot be regulated and lawmakers will have circles run around them by the advertising agencies.

        As to your comment about people being too thick to prevent tracking themselves, that's akin to saying people who aren't tough enough to defend themselves don't deserve protection from assault. The aim is to protect anyone who wants protection, not to selfishly say: "I know how to install various blockers, so everyone else can just do without protection against tracking." If you go to the trouble of blocking it yourself, then you must think it's got a negative to attached to it. So why shouldn't other people be protected from that negative?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        >Obviously you would, as a webmaster, now ignore all MSIE settings of the header, because it has been made totally meaningless.

        Doesn't follow at all - and I find it very hard to imagine most people don't want privacy by default.....children have a legal entitlement to it in the US & UK, but the not the competancy (legally) to make the determination for instance.

        There's a surprising mass of currently unenforced legislation in the UK when it comes to your storage and use of private/tracking information for a number of groups - children, sick people, mentally impaired or learning disabled (getting on for a third of the population). You're defenceless if you're ignoring requests for privacy, default set or otherwise.

        [By unenforced legislation, I mean stuff like Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act, there's plenty of action in Data Protection etc currently, but Webmasters don't get jail time for that].

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Right back at you.....

        " Asking the server to do it for you because you're too thick to take responsibility for yourself is ridiculous "

        Car manufacturers should supply all the parts to build a car, because if your to thick to put it together, then maybe you should walk.

        I've built one, how about you, thickie?

    5. jonathanb Silver badge

      Not quite

      It won't reduce advertising, what it might reduce is the sort of adverts that say "you looked at this pair of shoes in xyz shop and didn't buy them. Why don't you come back and buy them now?"

    6. N2 Silver badge

      Not really...

      "it will help its customers by reducing advertising" ---- No it wont, its 'do not track' - that isnt a filter for adverts, you'll need AdBlock or something similar.

      "drastically improve the online experience by reducing the junk Internet content and offerings that such advertising supports" ---- No, see above.

      "This result will improve consumers experience" --- not sure how as tracking is fairly transparent

      "improve privacy" ----- possibly but I'm sure the trackers will find another way.

      "and demonstrate American innovation and leadership in the internet economy" --- Vomit

      1. David Webb

        Re: Not really...

        How about MS capitulate and don't give the option in the set up, but when you start IE up pops a box explaining what DNT actually does, what it means for the users privacy and a box saying "Allow websites to track me" and "Turn on the DNT feature". It would give users the freedom to pick which box they would like to choose, I'm going with around 100% of people who work in the advertising business will switch it ON, along with 98.412% of everyone else.

        1. Oninoshiko

          Re: Not really...

          That's basicly what they do, except they do it the first time you load the OS. The exact wording of the box in question is:

          "Settings

          Express settings

          You can customize the following settings or choose express settings. If you choose express settings, your PC will occasionally send info to Microsoft and will:

          * Automatically install important and recommended updates.

          * Help protect your PC from unsafe files and websites.

          * Turn on Do Not Track in Internet Explorer.

          * Help improve Microsoft software, services, and location services by sending us info.

          * Check online for solutions to problems.

          * Let apps give you personalized content based on your PC's location, name, and account picture.

          * Turn on sharing and connect to devices on this network.

          Learn more about express settings

          Privacy statement

          [Use express settings] [customize]"

          Seems pretty obvious that if I hit "express' it's going to turn on DNT.

          1. leexgx

            Re: Not really...

            @Oninoshiko

            no normal person reads that (they just press next and finish to make it go away) so its on by default user does not understand why or what it is

            1. h4rm0ny

              Re: Not really...

              "no normal person reads that (they just press next and finish to make it go away) so its on by default user does not understand why or what it is"

              Have you ever actually installed IE10 or Win8? It's a full page with about eight settings on it and a clear message you should check how you want your browser to work. DNT is clearly titled and you can click on it to get a short explanation. You say people do not "understand why or what it is". I would bet money that if you showed 100 people a line saying: "Send 'Do Not Track' request to websites" that 98% of people would understand it was a setting asking websites not to track them. Do you disagree?

    7. leexgx

      why his post was liked so much, advertisers are just going to ignore the DNT flag if IE10 is detected as it has an incorrect DNT default on setting, Apache has all ready added it to there ignore list (other browsers are not affected and the DNT will work as intended )

      1. h4rm0ny

        "why his post was liked so much, advertisers are just going to ignore the DNT flag if IE10 is detected as it has an incorrect DNT default on setting, Apache has all ready added it to there ignore list (other browsers are not affected and the DNT will work as intended )"

        Both your statements are factually incorrect. Firstly, IE10's "default". Firefox has a default - you install it and it has DNT off and if you want to change that you have to go into the config and find the setting and change it. What IE10 does is present suggested settings on install to the user. DNT is one of these and it's right in the user's face with an explanation of what it is and a suggested setting of "On". It's compliant and the working group know that it's compliant and are seething about it. Believe me - if they could call it a "default" and kick IE10 out as non-compliant, they would love to. But it's actually presenting the user with the choice and they can't.

        Secondly and more significantly, your comment about "Apache has already added it to their ignore list" is massively misinformed. Roy Fielding, one of the Apache team whose employer is Adobe (a company with a vested interest) and who is a member of the DNT working group (so hardly neutral in this), took it upon himself to submit a patch that erased DNT headers from IE10 and he submitted this patch in the early hours of the morning right before a significant release. That's not "Apache", that's one team member with a significant vested interest going rogue. Don't believe me? Look at the storm of critical comments from the rest of the team on the commit note and the fact that it was quickly reverted with a commit note about not bringing your politics into the code base. It's a gross distortion to say "Apache has already amended this" both because one team member is not Apache and because the amendment was undone as fast as possible (constrained by the fact Roy had sneaked it in at the last moment before a release - so the patch had to wait for the next update, but it was committed almost immediately).

    8. Anonymous Coward
      FAIL

      Just HOW MUCH advertising do people REALLY NEED?

      One set of clothes will last a year or three.

      One car or bicycle is good for about 15 years.

      Ummmm one pile of books from the opp shop or free online will last forever.

      Where do these fucking arsehole advertisers get off on RAMMING a never ending stream of shit into the lives and minds of people?

      I mean fuck - life is short.

      Where do they think that they have the right to waste staggering amounts of peoples lives serving up bullshit that for the most part, people do not want, or need or can't afford?

      If they won't do it or can't accept it - tune out and turn off - and get a life.

      Buy a mallet and some chisels and make a boat out of a tree and sail across the ocean or something.

      Fuck the advertisers.

  2. Graham Marsden
    Pirate

    "drastically...

    "...improve the online experience by reducing the amount of irritating crap, pop-ups, sliding ads, annoying sounds that play if you mouse over something by mistake and all the other extraneous shit that pisses off users..."

    There, fixed it for you!

    1. CD001

      Re: "drastically...

      They're implementing NoScript in IE10?

      1. tonysmith

        Re: "drastically...

        That's actually an interesting way that Microsoft could starve Google of it's revenues.

        Just put adBlocker or noScript in IE by default.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yeah, there's pretty much no way to spin the admen's position

    as anything but colossal self-interest.

    1. spodula
      Thumb Down

      Re: Yeah, there's pretty much no way to spin the admen's position

      But its an optional standard. It likely at least some of the admen were going to ignore it anyway, but now they all will. it wont Stop a thing!

      if were lucky, they may still honor the flag on other browsers, but the admen have now been given a big out, so this entire thing has been a waste of time.

      Also, this is a DO NOT TRACK flag, not a DO NOT SHOW ADVERTS as some people seem to think.

      What microsoft have done is removed any chance of this being of any use. Well done.

      1. h4rm0ny

        Re: Yeah, there's pretty much no way to spin the admen's position

        "But its an optional standard. It likely at least some of the admen were going to ignore it anyway, but now they all will. it wont Stop a thing!"

        The purpose of the optional standard was a token gesture to shelter them from privacy laws. They would say: "look, it's okay that we tracked all these people because they have the freedom to tell us not to." Never mind that they know full well how difficult that is for many people. Of course you might argue that it could be made easy for people or a browser provider could help people choose. Like... Microsoft. ;)

        Besides, there's some misinformation going on around here. IE10 doesn't have DNT set to on by default. It presents a screen full of options when you install IE or Win8 which has DNT presented as one of the options and a clear message that you're choosing these settings and asks you to confirm if these are the settings you would like. It's not like Firefox where the setting has a true default and it's not presented to you on install. The user is actually presented with a choice about DNT on install. It's just that 99% of users will elect to go with the suggested setting of having DNT turned on.

        1. Tiirath
          Thumb Up

          Re: Yeah, there's pretty much no way to spin the admen's position

          Ahh yes, but the Add Men want the DNT setting to come with a pre checked setting of “I do not want to use DNT” as the default.

          That way 99% of users will “elect” by “choice” to go with the suggested setting and thus the ADD MEN can say ”hey you asked for adds!”.

          1. SteveK

            Re: Yeah, there's pretty much no way to spin the admen's position

            "Ahh yes, but the Add Men want the DNT setting to come with a pre checked setting of “I do not want to use DNT” as the default."

            More likely they'd want the description to be more like:

            'do not disable the Don't use DNT function (note: choosing this may lead to receiving increased irrelevant advertising).'

            [And I may not have had the right number of negations in there, please add one if not, my brain hurts too much to parse it again...]

  4. no_RS

    Is it IE10 or IE8 they are talking about, article is confused but good that the Admen don't like the Don't Track feature. Hope they don't buckle under the pressure.

    1. Tiirath
      Happy

      IE10 is the one getting their pants wet. The “you must opt out” trick is as old as any con trick.

  5. Bugs R Us
    Thumb Up

    Hallelujah. Microsoft is reborn.

    Lately MS seems to be doing more right than wrong. Good on them.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hallelujah. Microsoft is reborn.

      Yes, they are a harmless old man now, whose worst crime is to wee himself sometimes on the bus, and telling the younger generation how great things were in the olden days before F/OSS came along like some devil's music.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @AC 12:52GMT - Re: Hallelujah. Microsoft is reborn.

        Not yet! Campaign against Linux is alive and still strong.

  6. ABee
    Happy

    I see no ad's

    Thanks to a Reg article many years ago singing the praises of Ad Block Pro.

    1. Eguro
      Angel

      Re: I see no ad's

      Obviously you've whitelisted a few of your favourite sites!? :)

    2. A J Stiles

      Re: I see no ad's

      Me neither -- I'm blocking adverts by running my own nameserver, which tells a few spare ribs.

      I've even been thinking of offering advertisement-free surfing as a premium service, if I can get some ADSL capacity to resell.

    3. AndrueC Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: I see no ad's

      I prefer to have a cow munch mine but yeah - if you don't want to see adverts you don't have to :)

  7. Ascy

    It's a good default

    But MS could backtrack slightly by asking users when they first launch the browser whether they want it on or off and recommend it's set to on. Then nobody has cause to complain, unless they think users should be kept ignorant so that it's turned off.

    1. Christoph Silver badge

      Re: It's a good default

      That may be the best solution. There's already been reports that some companies will ignore the DNT if it's from Internet Explorer because they will assume it's just the default setting. If it's a specific question on first start-up they can't use that getout (although many of them still will, of course).

      1. dssf

        Re: It's a good default the just rewards in that case...

        ad block pro or plus

        Vpn and black holers

        Cookie poisoners

        Ifnpeoplenwant to buy shit, theynwill pay attention tonthe ads. But,nthere is more to tracking than cookies. These invasive fuckers use browser and system fingerprinting techniques, as well as timing and characterizing our typing and clicking habits.

        It will be popcorn time when privacy groups teach people how to use vpns, proxies, as blockers, white lists, and just plain furning off javascriot and flash, and learning how to live on a leaner diet of blitzing eye candy.

        Admen: you have a rigt to advertise, not monitor and slurp.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Christoph

        The only real report I know of was from the Apache programmer who apparently was so upset with this default setting that he threatened to implement a routine in the Apache server to ignore the setting whenever it was coming from MSIE10.

        Talk about professionalism...

        1. h4rm0ny

          Re: @Christoph

          "The only real report I know of was from the Apache programmer who apparently was so upset with this default setting that he threatened to implement a routine in the Apache server to ignore the setting whenever it was coming from MSIE10. Talk about professionalism..."

          Heh. That "Apache programmer" happens to be Roy Fielding, employee of Adobe who didn't threaten to implement a routine. He actually submitted a patch that ignored DNT for IE10 users right before a major version release in the early hours of the morning without consultation or approval from anyone else. He's a member of the DNT working group so not exactly a disinterested party. Caused quite a storm of protest amongst other Apache developers, not least of which because his change alters things below the Application layer which, even if you do feel it is right to disregard headers from IE10, is the wrong place to do it as the application layer essentially gets lied to about the HTTP request. A patch was quickly submitted to revert it with a change log reason of (iirc), "don't bring politics into the codebase" or very like.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @Christoph

            Yes, the flame war started last month and the sh*t storm is still going on over at github:

            https://github.com/apache/httpd/commit/a381ff35fa4d50a5f7b9f64300dfd98859dee8d0

    2. Russ Pitcher
      WTF?

      Re: It's a good default

      They do. On the Windows 8 installation screen Do Not Track is shown with a slide-switch that is set to on. One click half-way through the installation and it's off. What's the problem there?

      Microsoft have been battered for years over their relaxed approach to security. As soon as they change tack and do what's been demanded of them they instantly get shouted at. If I was them then at this point I'd throw my hands in the air, accept that I can't win no matter what and do whatever I felt like...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It's a good default

        "Microsoft have been battered for years over their relaxed approach to security. As soon as they change tack and do what's been demanded of them they instantly get shouted at."

        You make it sound like the former batterers are also the latter shouters. I don't believe this is the case, and I know which of the two I'm siding with.

    3. h4rm0ny

      Re: It's a good default

      "But MS could backtrack slightly by asking users when they first launch the browser whether they want it on or off and recommend it's set to on. Then nobody has cause to complain, unless they think users should be kept ignorant so that it's turned off."

      That's exactly what happens. You install IE10 or turn on Win8 for the first time and you get a page of config options with an explanation and suggested values. DNT is one of them. But how many people are going to say: "yes please, I'd like to be tracked."

      1. Tiirath
        Thumb Up

        Re: It's a good default

        Also the DNT specks say only that the user should have a choice, they make no mention as to the default.

        The “you must opt out” trick is as old as any con trick.

    4. Tiirath
      Happy

      Re: It's a good default

      MS do ask!!! its an option when you first set it up.

  8. Big_Boomer
    Facepalm

    Ad men see bonuses going south

    Tracking is just the latest bandwagon that advertisers have leapt on.

    There will be another one along as soon as they realise that MS are not going to back down.

    For the first time in ages I am tempted to go back to using IE.

    Although that will mean Windows 8,...... hmmm, maybe not.

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: Ad men see bonuses going south

      We could always invent spurious predictions that the planet will be eaten by a giant mutant star goat and offer them a once in a lifetime chance to escape impending doom on board one of three massive arks in space...

      1. Naughtyhorse

        Re: Ad men see bonuses going south

        great idea!

        then we all get killed by an iPhone!

        (second time today thats come up)

        1. TRT Silver badge
          Devil

          Re: Ad men see bonuses going south

          Rubbish. We all know iPhones don't get viruses.

    2. spodula

      Re: Ad men see bonuses going south

      Why? this is do not track FLAG. and they will simply ignore the flag if its from MSIE (If were lucky) or any other browser (I consider this to be more likely)

      IE cant magically stop the admen from tracking you if they want to. The only way to do that is to not use the web.

    3. Tiirath
      Happy

      Re: Ad men see bonuses going south

      You can have Windows 8, or you can have Windows 7! Windows 8 can be downgraded to Windows 7.

  9. billium
    WTF?

    Would this site be free without adverts? The tracking is only done by software, not people following what you are doing. Anybody explain the problem with this? Having said that, my CPU goes to 80% with the full page ads here.

    1. El Andy

      Would this site be free without adverts?

      No, it probably wouldn't be free. However having Do Not Track enabled doesn't mean sites can't display adverts. It might mean they can't build up a database of an individuals habit to show them personalised adverts, but that's a subtly different issue.

      The truth behind all of this is that the big Ad companies (which includes Roy Fielding's employer, Adobe) are not going to be happy unless next to nobody uses DNT. Which is why anything that makes it a prominant choice in browsers is going to get complained at. In their ideal world, the setting would exist (so they can happily claim they only track people who don't mind) but nobody would ever have it turned on.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Do Not Track doesn’t block adverts, it just denies the advertiser the ability to target the adverts based on the other sites you visited. You could argue that by being able to target their advertising, and thus being more effective, the advertisers could reduce their overall spend and thus the revenue of sites like this would actually decrease. It is certainly unlikely that advertisers would be so upset if they thought tracking would actualy increase their costs.

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge

        It doesn't deny them the ability

        It just asks them nicely not to.

        Under some jurisdictions it might have some legal force but that's unclear as there are no precedents.

        Of course, if they are shown to be ignoring it then the politicians might decide to pass specific laws regarding online tracking, and that's what the advertisers are worried about.

        They suggested DNT to try to avoid legislation happening, which is why it's odd that the admen are now making such stupid claims, because the sensible response by the politicians would now be "Ok, seeing as you clearly won't do this yourselves, we will do it for you."

        Of course, that will take several years, so perhaps that is the goal.

  10. vic 4

    For once

    I think MS are doing the right thing and putting their customers first. Or maybe this is a scheme to make it harder for google to target ads to people and thus help keep google's share price below their own.

    1. spodula

      Re: For once

      No, because the advertisers will ignore the flag if its from IE. Its not something that would be implemented in the browser, only the ad server can choose to deal with it.

    2. h4rm0ny

      Re: For once

      "I think MS are doing the right thing and putting their customers first. Or maybe this is a scheme to make it harder for google to target ads to people and thus help keep google's share price below their own."

      It's both. Beating their rivals by doing the right thing! It's every company's dream opportunity.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    When did privacy become opt-in instead of opt out?

    Is it ok to look into someone's windows (no pun intended) if they don't put up blinds to indicate that they have opted out?

    /hyperbole

    1. spodula

      When there is money to made, and there is no law preventing it.

  12. Alan Denman

    Losing the advertising war, turn off the internet to compete.

    With Google leading the way in web advertising it is obvious that by removing internet function. web developers will be forced to choose Metro apps for its newly manicured advertising walled garden.

    Open is surely only fine if you have the bigger stake in it.

  13. Trygve

    "define the consumer online experience"

    That experience being very similar to walking through a third world streetmarket with hundreds of hawkers, pimps and pickpockets jostling you, shouting at you, pushing their wares in your face, and trying to physically drag you off to their back-street establishment.

    Thanks oh so much, ANA.

  14. James 51 Silver badge

    Never through I would MS over apache and firefox people but I am with MS on this one.

  15. Blergh
    Black Helicopters

    Is this relevant?

    From the comments above it would sound like the DNT option removes Ads. I understood it to simply mean that the Ads served will be even less relevant than normal, because they're not tracking you and don't know anything about you. However maybe I'm wrong.

    Personally I see no reason to use DNT but glad the option is there for those that do. Not that I see these Ad things anyway with AdBlock Plus.

  16. Chris Thomas Alpha
    Unhappy

    analytics?

    what about analytics though.

    I installed adblock for chrome and found none of my analytics worked anymore, I had to whitelist it in order to work correctly again.

    I understand that you want to stop people from advertising things to you, but I want to know what percentage of people come from what country, or what browser you use so I know if it's worth targetting with a fix (say for IE7, do I support it or not? by default I don't, but if 90% of people arriving had it, I would).

    analytics seems to be getting kicked by the same boot, but it's not really the same usage, sure you can use analytics for tracking, but what if I want to customise better my website to make it easier for me to engage with people better, well, tough, cause now I can't :( or it seems that way anyway, DNT affects this or not? I'm not 100% sure, perhaps somebody can help me out on that.

    1. Irongut

      Re: analytics?

      If you want data to better your website then use the server logs. Do not send data on my visit to Google so they can track my internet usage just to make life a little easier for yourself. That is the invasion of my privacy that causes me to use Ghostery to block Analytics along with ad tracking.

      Analytics is just as bad as other forms of tracking and it is being used for advertisers, via Google.

    2. h4rm0ny

      Re: analytics?

      I don't mind your site knowing I'm a visitor from the UK or that I'm using Opera. I don't really even mind your site knowing that I'm the same person who visited last week. But I do mind that all the information is passed to Google so that they can compile it against every other site and profile me. There's a reason that Google Analytics is free for you to use on your site - it's because Google are getting my online history for it.

      Whilst I respect the use of ads on sites, and I respect that knowing more about your visitors helps sell those ads for a better value, where does it end? Google Analytics has taken over everything. If you block it, about a third or more of the Internet will simply stop working for you as pages simply refuse to load with a response from Google. That's a bad thing.

    3. LaeMing Silver badge

      Re: analytics? @OP

      Chris, you don't need to set a cookie (or have Google set one for you) or do any other kinds of tracking to find any of the mentioned information about visitors to your site. It is all in the browser comms headers. As said above, use the server logs, or get a program that will analyse them for you direct instead of doing google's dirty work for them for free.

    4. Fozzie Bear
      Trollface

      Re: analytics?

      If your site is coded correctly, it doesn't matter what browser they use nor what country they come from!

  17. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    Significant

    Surely the wider significance of this letter is that it would not have been written unless advertisers truly believe that the direction of the default "opt" (opt-in versus opt-out) is hugely significant.

    So, next time some weasel trots out the line "We're only screwing people /by default/. They can opt out if they want.", they haven't got a leg to stand on.

    1. Tiirath
      Thumb Up

      Re: Significant

      Sanity!!!! The opt out trick is as old as any con trick.

  18. Mark Dowling

    boohoo

    "Microsoft appears determined to stop the collection of web viewing data. That is unacceptable."

    To you. It is unacceptable to you.

    1. badmonkey

      Re: boohoo

      It's unacceptable to anyone who wants decent content on a website. Publishers have to be able to collect decent stats to make sensible decisions regarding content. You wouldn't try to stop a newspaper from knowing how many papers it had sold per day over the year.

      1. Irongut

        Re: boohoo

        Wrong. You do not need to allow advertisers to track your users across your and other sites they use in order to know how many visitors your website has, what pages they visited, etc. Advertiser tracking networks are nothing like newspaper circulation figures.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @badmonkey

        There's plenty of decent content out there not fuelled by either advertising or tracking users. There's good paid and good unpaid; if you can't see that it suggests your objection is more to a minor derailing of the gravy train than genuine concern for content.

        The web will not end just because some morality free shitbag doesn't get to analyse my browsing habits to the last nipple clamp.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Available for other browsers too.

    Some of the above comments seem to imply the commenters didn't know that just about all browsers support DNT (Do Not Track) in some way. There's an addon for Chrome to do it, and Google would surely have more to lose than most.

    1. h4rm0ny

      Re: Available for other browsers too.

      "There's an addon for Chrome to do it, and Google would surely have more to lose than most."

      Yes. That's why to do it in Chrome, you have to go and install a separate addon. And in Firefox (Mozilla get a lot of funding from Google), you have to go via an Options->Options->Privacy->Tracking (it's off by default). Whereas in IE10, it's presented during install and you are asked to set a value (suggested is On).

  20. RISC OS
    FAIL

    "define the consumer online experience"

    Adverts don't define my online consumer experience... partly because I don't see any ads thanks to adblock, but also because I spend maybe 5 minutes a month at an online retailer... only there am I a consumer. And I only buy there what I went there to buy. Advertisers trying to push crap on me isn#t going to help define "my consumer experience"

  21. spuriousbiscuit
    Black Helicopters

    If we could go back to simpler times...

    Before the growth of the world wide web advertisters didn't follow us around noting every street we went down and building we entered.

    Why do they think they are they entitled to do such with every website and webpage we visit?

    This is the only real reason why I use adblock. If advertisers were just advertising, I'd have no problems with them.

    1. LaeMing Silver badge

      Re: If we could go back to simpler times...

      Technically they could to a certain degree - with so-called 'loyalty card' systems (Fly-buys being the big one in Aus.).

      But those systems were/are very much opt-in-by-default, so the precedent is long-ago set anyway.

  22. Tikimon Silver badge
    Big Brother

    DON'T give 'em an inch, they'll take it ALL!

    Business has always wanted the kind of data they get now by tracking, but there was no way to get it. Imagine you're shopping a store and find something to buy. The store insists you first create an "account" before you make your purchase, demanding personal information to spend a fiver on a book. No Way, right?

    Now they have the tools to vacuum up our data without having to ask. They've made a business model of it. They're crying that their business model will collapse if they are now prevented from grabbing information without consent. AWWW, POOR BABY, my heart bleeds. We heard the same whines from telemarketers, another business model hated by the public.

    Technology: Just because it can be done, does not mean it should. That includes any form of tracking, to specifically include those that blithely decide to ignore DNT.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Turning it around

    I try to boycott things I see advertised (not very systematically, but if I'm about to buy something but remember seeing an advert for it, I'll go for a rival product instead). So I've left "do not track" off, as that enhances my avoidance of companies that feel entitled to use some of my attention.

    1. LaeMing Silver badge

      Re: Turning it around

      I do this too, but base the decision off how annoying vs informative the advertising was, rather than a blanket-ban approach.

  24. Mystic Megabyte Silver badge

    Temporarily allow all of this page

    I have DNT enabled in Firefox 15.

    In NoScript if I select "Temporarily allow all of this page" then Ghostery will pop-up saying that it has blocked lots of trackers. (~20 sometimes)

    I also have AdBlockPlus enabled at all times.

    I don't have anything to hide but I'm damned if I'll let a bunch of nosey bastards track me across the web.

    <bonus_rant>I buy online but won't go back to the companies that send me an email every f*ing day.</bonus_rant>

  25. h4rm0ny

    The advertising industry surived decades without knowing everything about us...

    ...they can survive again.

    If we're only given this option on the grounds that we do not use, that's no option. If we accept it on the grounds that a handful of technically knowledgable people will use it whilst we let all our friends and family and everyone else be monitored, then that's rather selfish of us.

  26. Alan W. Rateliff, II
    Paris Hilton

    Dead business models soon to see legislative protection

    MP3 and DivX encoding enable hereto unseen personal distribution to chip away at the music and movie industries' physical methods of distribution because both failed to foresee and adapt to changing consumer demand. Rather than investigate the new digital age of media distribution which formed without and in spite of them they sought government protection.

    Newspapers seek legal copyright protection against "deep linking."

    The broadcast flag is designed, in part, to prevent commercial skipping. Those damned Disney DVDs which do not allow you to skip previews and commercials. Advertisements in movie theaters while ticket prices continue to rise.

    Telemarketers protest the federal "Do Not Call" list which, in essence, provides marketers with the phone numbers of people to whom a call would be a waste of time.

    Protests against junk fax laws. Protests against CAN-SPAM.

    Now I suspect marketers will lobby legislation to "protect" their latest invasive, intrusive, and annoying marketing practices rather than move on to the Next Thing(tm) as the current thing is being soundly rejected by its victims. Excuse me, "targeted recipients."

    I use ABP in Firefox. It's a treat. I choose to white-list some sites, and I even white-list sites which ask me politely to do so. (Even my friggen bank puts adverts in its on-line banking site.) Dell, AT&T, news sites, and the like could easily remind visitors, as Hulu does, that their experience may be greatly increased by allowing advertisements on their pages. Perhaps going so far as to offer different levels of advertising: a few static and motionless, a few animated, or a shit tonne of annoying full-motion and non-muted audio to wake up your partner while browsing in the middle of the night. Oh, and not forgetting to PROMINENTLY mention (not in a privacy statement elsewhere on the site which references yet other pages in a convoluted web of various pages of statements) that other sites will know you've visited here and may offer partner-based promotions on those sites as well.

    (In one of those JavaScript pop-ups which darken the rest of the page and you cannot get around) "Hi there! We see that you have your {Internet Explorer|Firefox|Chrome|Browser} set to 'Do No Track.' Did you know that this prevents us and our partner sites from offering you better discounts and special promotions? Perhaps we could ask you to allow our sites or turn this feature off completely? _Click here to find out how this works_ [ ] No thanks, please don't show this again. _Close_"

    IMNSHO, what "they" plan to do with DNT is akin to kicking in a locked door rather than knocking and politely asking for permission to come in.

    Paris, just when you think she's leaving you alone she goes and kisses a girl.

  27. ArkhamNative
    Big Brother

    Trust in Allah, but tie up your camel.

    All the huff and puff about DNT is good, but we're still giving them all the data that makes them money, and then hoping they see the little "DNT" flag and throw it all away.

    It's not just about ad targeting. 3pes are rampant, too. All the "follow us on twitter" buttons and "facebook social" comment sections report back to those companies, and include your username, too.

    I like Ghostery which lets me choose if and how much the trackers get fed. It just needs a simpler interface for configuration.

    1. mickey mouse the fith

      Re: Trust in Allah, but tie up your camel.

      Ghostery has a really inovative business model as well. They sell the opt in blocking data to advertisers who can then analize it in order to track site usage trends and target campagns better.

      I suppose they could also use this data to weasel around ghosterys blocking capabilities, or maybe the makers of ghostery could be bribed into letting a few through, but on the whole it works great and even though it blocks the ad makers tracking, the advertisers still get some anonymous data rather than nothing.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I run an ad supported site

    And I support Microsoft fully in this.

    I run adverts that are as relevant to the page the user is looking at and as unobtrusive as I can make them, while still being visible. Sites with their own valuable content (like mine) do not need to track users - i know what my user is interested in, as that's why they've visited that page. It's only for junk sites with no real content, as it's their only means to serve anything remotely relevant to the user whose been tricked into visiting their page.

    I just wish people running ad blocking software would switch it off for trusted 'white list' sites. Otherwise it does hurt genuine,ly responsible sites such as mine, and the Reg.

    1. fung0
      Big Brother

      Re: I run an ad supported site

      "I just wish people running ad blocking software would switch it off for trusted 'white list' sites. Otherwise it does hurt genuine,ly responsible sites such as mine, and the Reg."

      The fact that I don't support "responsible sites" is the fault of groups like the ANA. They want to FORCE us to accept their BS advertising, when what they really need to do is clean house.

      Advertisers on the Internet have displayed total contempt for users. They saw the Internet as an extension of the TV model, where they can pump any kind of swill they like into the receptive brains of captive audiences. But the Internet doesn't work that way. It incorporates user choice at a deep level. When the ad-noise got past a certain point, when advertisers started attacking my privacy, I started installing countermeasures: Ad-Block Plus, NoScript and RequestPolicy, so far. Maybe a VPN next.

      What groups like the ANA should be doing is policing the Internet. They should have a prominent code of conduct, and they should be enforcing it with an iron fist. After they do that for a few years, maybe I'll be willing to trust them again, and start to accept 'certified benign' ads. But as long as they're OVERTLY attempting to screw me over, track my behavior, the adwalls stay up.

  29. Tom 35 Silver badge

    The ad men

    Want it off by default, and well hidden three levels down in the menu.

    MS should add it to the startup quiz you get the first time you run IE.

    Just ask something like "Do you want advertisers to track your web use?"

    Don't include a default.

    NO ONE will click yes track me. The result will be the same, and MS can tell the advertisers to F.O.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Excellent

    Nothing beats the squealing sound of an ad pimp in pain. Offers some validation that 'do not track' has got some value after all. If we can just move on from 'voluntary' we'll be getting somewhere worthwhile at last.

  31. peterkin
    Big Brother

    Does nobody here remember the you-seeker from Frank Herbert's A-W-F, Unlimited?

  32. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    It infuriates me that when I try and download a site while commuting for one or two facts I have to wait while ad doubleclick sites respond and google analytics responds and so on and so on until the wifi connection is lost along with the site I really wanted to read.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Windows

    And lets not forget where its coming from...

    IMO Microsoft are doing a lot of good things as of late. Also lots of bad stuff, sure, but when it comes to privacy and customer protection I think they're setting the right tone these days.

    But although I think they deserve credit for actions as these I also think its important to realize where its coming from: Microsoft are feeling the heat from the competition. Not to discredit them or anything, but I do think its important to keep in mind.

    1. h4rm0ny

      Re: And lets not forget where its coming from...

      Linux was the best thing that ever happened to Windows making them rush out Vista in a panic and then get it right with Win7, and Apple are the best thing that ever happened to Windows Mobile. Everyone who uses modern Windows or a Windows Phone device, owes a little debt of gratitude to Linux and Apple, for giving MS the fright of its life.

  34. mickey mouse the fith

    Better Idea

    They should bake in an adblock+ type thing and enable it by default rather than a useless token flag that every advertiser chasing the profit dragon will ignore anyway.

    I havnt seen an advert online for years thanks to the firefox-adblock-noscript combo. When I have to use someone elses computer to browse and articles have full on video ads in the middle of the article text or popups and commercials on youtube videos I realise how shit the web is without ad blocking.

    1. El Andy

      Re: Better Idea

      "They should bake in an adblock+ type thing and enable it by default rather than a useless token flag that every advertiser chasing the profit dragon will ignore anyway."

      But the aim is not to stop advertising, it's a completely legitimate way to fund sites and using tools like AdBlock to get the content without letting the site owner recoup their costs through ad revenue is morally dubious at best.

      DNT on it's own would certainly be easy for admen to simply ignore, that's unavoidable, but with an increasing amount of privacy laws coming in to force doing so in a situation where you've explicitly stated a preference not to be tracked puts them clearly on the wrong side of such laws. That's why the admen would prefer the option to exist, but so hidden away nobody knows it. Then they can happily claim their tracking was entirely legit, because you had the ability to opt out, but didn't. They don't want this option to be easily discovered, because the honest answer to "Do you want to be tracked online?" is going to fall heavily on the side of "No" to most people.

      1. mickey mouse the fith

        Re: Better Idea

        Thing is, if a site shoves ads all over their pages that distract me from the content, they are going to loose me anyway, whereas without annoying ads I might stay and contribute something useful to said site, so adblocking isnt morally dubious in my opinion.

        As to how sites cover costs, I really dont know, Id be very rich if I did, but plastering annoying ads everywhere and stalking users like a fertive rapist isnt the answer.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Your own stupid, dumb fault.

    "The ad-slingers say Internet Explorer 10’s Do-Not-Track feature will hurt advertisers, consumers and competition."

    No, no, no.

    The cause of hurt for advertisers is the advertisers themselves.

    Most normal people are heartily sick of intrusive animated ads, huge splash ads, mind mumbingly dumb ads, popovers, behavioural advertising and the like..

    You spewed the crap; now reap the result and stop bloody whingeing.

  36. Tim 11
    Thumb Up

    who gives a s**t ?

    Like most reg readers I detest and ignore/block all adverts regardless of the medium and how carefully they have been targeted at me. Advertising is basically trying to sell you something you don't want to buy which is scamming.

    If this change makes advertising less effective, companies will have to rely less on advertising and start to think of sensible business models instead which is fine by me.

    If this change means we need far more adverts to make people pay attention, that will just make more people hate adverts more and again will hasten the demise of adverts.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    Meanwhile everybody and their dog is putting a huge blocking banner about cookies on their website , whichthey have to, to comply with EU law.

    Only if you accept a cookie and promise to keep it will they remove it for future sessions, otherwise they have no way on knowing if you agreed.

    Sites such as theregister.co.uk will scroll it across the page. Which invovles keeping a cookie, which means tracking or as I do write custom scripts on Greasemonkey to remove it and strip it out.

  38. Someone Else Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Hey ANA -- define THIS!

    Per the ANA bleatings:

    If Microsoft moves forward with this default setting, it 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.

    Such pompous ass-holiness! I run APB and NoScript, and I find that my "online experience" is not "drastically damage[d]" all all; indeed, it would be drastically damaged were I not to run these things, and have my "online experience" invaded by these twerps.

    The point here is that the ANA wishes ... no, believes they have the right ... to "define the consumer online experience". Bull. Fucking. Shit! It's my online experience, not yours, morons, and I will define my online experience the way I see fit. If you don't like it, sod off already.

    1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

      Re: Hey ANA -- define THIS!

      What they are attempting to say in a clumsy way is that some ad-funded websites may disappear if they lose the higher payment for targeted click through advert referrals that such tracking may enable. This may reduce choice, or may cause some sites to become subscriber only.

      I'm pretty much oblivious to adverts now, and don't even block them. As a result, whether I am tracked for adverts or not is not a big thing (although for other purposes clearly is). The only thing that really makes me cross is the adverts that suck the life out of your machine with flash and javascript animations so that browsing on older or even newer low-power systems (like tablets and phones) becomes impossible. I refuse to upgrade my systems merely so that I can be advertised to. So, I run Flashblock and Noscript, but keep the adverts in.

      Even without those controls, for most purposes my 8 year old Thinkpad running Linux on a 2GHz Mobile Pentium 4is fine, until I hit a site that has such adverts.

  39. Majid
    Pirate

    Advertisement is the cancer of capitalism

    A long time ago, advertisement was useful, it made your product known, if otherwise unknown, you could highlight why it was a good product. If such information was delivered in small amounts it made people think about it.

    Nowadays, you get all this advertisement force fed:

    - You are reading a forum about a programming problem: Theres google bots, auto inserting dumb replies with adds.

    - You want to watch a movie on youtube: There's an add you are forced to watch before watching what you wanted to watch.

    - Watch a movie on a public tv channel. There's adds every 15 minutes.

    - Click somewhere, it might be trick to redirect you to an add..

    Why do companies think they can annoy me into buying their product? Well they don't. The problem is this whole pay per click payment scheme, which is misused left and right and the fact that companies haven't realised that they are being screwed over as well and that the ads they pay for are only driving away customers.

    For the customers, its a double yammie. First they get annoyed, then they pay more for the products if they buy them because all the companies are spending loads of money on adds that dont work. So the net result is that all products are getting more expensive. Profit = Cost + Margin. So Cost will go up, because they have to pay for all these useless commercials and ads.

    So: I hope they ban advertisement from the whole internet. I rather pay with money for internet than that I pay with my irritation, and then later pay indirectly by having to buy more expensive products.

    1. Peter Johnstone
      Facepalm

      Re: Advertisement is the cancer of capitalism

      Advertisers must think that we're stupid. I can tell that my behaviour is being tracked because I'm being shown ads for stuff that I've recently bought online. What makes the ad men think that 'personalised' ads for stuff I already own and therefore have zero interest in buying is going to work? Manufacturers should stop wasting money on these clowns, there must be a better way!

  40. Donald Miller

    Low Down Cookies

    I haven't read all these posts yet, but I've seen no mention anywhere of the fact that most sites are saving cookies into a Low folder inside the Cookies folder, so they're not deleted when you tell IE to do so. I will be watching to see if this post appears, since The Register is one of the offenders.

    1. jon 72
      Devil

      Re: Low Down Cookies

      The full horror of how far down the rabbit hole goes ...

      - Standard HTTP Cookies

      - Local Shared Objects (Flash Cookies)

      - Silverlight Isolated Storage

      - Storing cookies in RGB values of auto-generated, force-cached

      PNGs using HTML5 Canvas tag to read pixels (cookies) back out

      - Storing cookies in Web History (Browser History sniffing hack -> Now plugged in most new browser versions )

      - Storing cookies in HTTP ETags

      - Storing cookies in Web cache (CSS & Javascripts dynamically created with unique names)

      - window.name caching

      - Internet Explorer userData storage

      - HTML5 Session Storage

      - HTML5 Local Storage

      - HTML5 Global Storage

      - HTML5 Database Storage via SQLite

      HTTP Authentication and Java also have possibilities according to some.

      Then you have 'Cloudflare', used by many sites as free caching/ bandwidth boost that's basically Phorm in reverse so instead of the ISP doing the traffic slurping it's grafted onto the sites themselves. Not forgetting the iframes from Social Networking sites.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So no news for the EU then since you can't use tracking cookies unless your granted permission!

  42. Inventor of the Marmite Laser Silver badge
    Devil

    Can we please have the views of a few advertisers?

    Oh, go on.

    I dare you

  43. heyrick Silver badge

    Hmmm...

    "Thirty-nine ANA members have put their names to the letter, including AT&T, Dell, Ford Motor Company, IBM, Intel, Kellogg, Nestle, McDonalds and Wal-Mart."

    Given how loose some companies can be with your data, you might think that a specific instruction to not track would have some sort of legal basis if it was blatantly ignored (which we know it will be until litigation).

    Just to give you an example - connecting to McDonald's WiFi (in France, don't know if this is global or some crap we get lumbered with). Telnet to mail.mydomainhere.co.uk port 25 (SMTP). Guess what, McDonald's answers. Telnet to mail.gmail.com port 25, McDonald's answers. Telnet to bogus.domain.name port 25. You guessed it, the headers identify the server on a non-existant domain as being McDonald's. Funny that.

    Now given that France has some pretty heavy privacy laws, I wonder how it would go if you can demonstrate that you asked to be connected to a specific server and something else answered in its place. I get it, SMTP can be used for spam-bombing, many ISPs block it except to their own servers. I understand, Orange does this and I have to route my mail via Orange. Specifically. Knowingly. McDonald's, on the other hand, is not so much blocking as "passing off". I'm sure they'll say it is to enhance the user experience and all sorts of nice-sounding shit to please the clueless, but in effect every outgoing SMTP message is being sucked up by their server just automatically replying to your phone/netbook/pda's attempt to connect to specific services. I discovered this purely because their server is treacle-slow (5-10 minute turnaround!). Makes you wonder what happens with the messages they harvest.

    It's a mentality like this that is asking for DNT to be disabled by default. Do you trust 'em?

  44. Winkypop Silver badge
    Megaphone

    Hey Ad Men

    It's my data.

    It's not free to use.

    You pay, I MIGHT consent.

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My arse it helps consumers

    Let ME decide if I want to see all of the crap SPAM ads. Nope I decided I don't. Fork the advertisers and the crims that SPAM us legally or illegally.

  46. Stuart Elliott
    Pint

    With apologies to DA

    "But Mr User, the instructions to enable DNT have been available in your web browser for the last nine months."

    "Oh yes, well as soon as I heard I went straight into settings to find it, yesterday afternoon. You hadn't exactly gone out of your way to call attention to them, had you? I mean, like actually telling anybody or anything."

    "But the ability to opt-out was there ..."

    "Was there? I eventually had to go down to the advanced settings to find them."

    "That's the best place for it."

    "With a browser extension."

    "Ah, well the security had probably been enabled."

    "So had the CSS to display it in white on white."

    "But look, you found the notice didn't you?"

    "Yes," said the user, "yes I did. It was on display in the bottom of a locked menu stuck in a config file with a page displaying saying 'Here be dragons'."

    1. h4rm0ny
      Pint

      Re: With apologies to DA

      "saying 'Here be dragons'.""

      Niiiiice touch. Pint for the subtle cleverness.

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Free needs PR

    Its about time someones tarted an "Association of Genuinely Free Content Providers" or whatever to push home the point of how much decent, valuable content is made available unsullied by the dead hand of the pimping/tracking industries - and there is a great deal. The public are continually fed the pernicious argument that t' interwebs would be some kind of desert if they refused to hand over their likes, dislikes, foibles, perversions, favourite holiday destinations and children's inside leg measurements. Say it often enough and it becomes the orthodoxy, and it would be good to see someone of weight coming down hard on the constant, erroneous assertions of the ad industry and questioning quite how good a deal the data rape industry actually gives for what it takes from us. At the moment the policy argument is a one way, one sided conversation with the powers that be, and that needs to change.

    Three or four years ago, being anti advertising/tracking was a niche interest confined mainly to places like El Reg. But just about every forum, survey result and newspaper article you come across now suggests anecdotally that the average punter has had enough of having the piss take out of their private lives and are beginning to vote with just about every plugin, hosts file and browser hack they can get their hands on. Industry publications barely register the objections and still seem to think everyone just loves ads and the 'benefits' of handing over data. It's like we're on two different planets entirely.

    "Free" in the ad industry sense isn't. About time someone pointed that out.

  48. sabroni Silver badge

    This is a tech site. It has tech adverts. What's wrong with that targetting? There's no need to target individuals...

  49. Bill Gould

    Clowns to the left... jokers to the right...

    People would bitch and whine if they had DNT off by default, just as they are apparently doing when DNT is on by default. Can't please everyone.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Clowns to the left... jokers to the right...

      True. There are a lot of ignorant people in the world. I however chose not to be bombarded by ads and the scumbags have no right to force me to view their crap. ads

  50. Just a Framer
    Holmes

    ,,,,,,all wrong! Bing can track a different part , so Bing advertisers will be advantaged over Google. It's war out there.!!

    1. h4rm0ny

      ",,,,,,all wrong! Bing can track a different part , so Bing advertisers will be advantaged over Google. It's war out there.!!"

      What does "different part" mean? Please be specific as there are a lot of programmers and web developers here. Your post seems to imply that the Do Not Track HTTP header is something other than an explicit request to the web-application layer to not employ tracking technologies. DNT is not a way for browsers to actively conceal information from the server. Technically, it actually sends more. So what are you referring to?

This topic is closed for new posts.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019