Yahoo won't honor IE10's "Do Not Track" system

Microsoft has taken a lot of heat from Internet advertising companies about its decision to enable "Do Not Track" as the default for its Internet Explorer 10 web browser in Windows 8 (although it gives users the option to disable it). Microsoft says it wants to give better privacy protection to the users of IE10. Now one of the Internet's biggest web properties says that it will ignore DNT in IE10.

In a post on Yahoo's Policy Blog, the company slammed Microsoft's decision, stating, "In our view, this degrades the experience for the majority of users and makes it hard to deliver on our value proposition to them. It basically means that the DNT signal from IE10 doesn’t express user intent."

As a result, even if users choose to keep Do Not Track on IE10, visiting a site owned by Yahoo won't make a difference. The company said, "" ... we will not recognize IE10’s default DNT signal on Yahoo! properties at this time."

Much of the debate over Do Not Track in IE10 is that the World Wide Web Consortium has yet to come to an agreement over a DNT standard. Microsoft has said earlier this year that it is "firmly committed" to working with the W3C to set up those standards.

Via: AllThingsD.com
Source: Yahoo | Image via Microsoft

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75 Comments

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Someone mentioned that IE10 should show a notification if a website doesn't abide by DNT. I agree with this.

Yahoo is relying on the fact that most users have no idea they're being tracked.

Jozef Uhľár said,

yes, it's #4 because majority of users have Yahoo as homepage with no idea why ...

That's probably where most of Bing's traffic comes from to be frank.

thealexweb said,

That's probably where most of Bing's traffic comes from to be frank.


Bings traffic for MS is calculated on the Bing Division of MS. And since when is Yahoo part of that?
Many search engine marketshare lists still list Yahoo as a separate individual don't they?

Personally, given the inherent controversy of all this, I think that Microsoft should have made this a mandatory user selection option at set-up time (yeah, yeah I know - this kind of thinking a big no, no usability-wise). Although I hail Microsoft's approach to user's privacy, let's face it - most users will never check, never know about this setting at all which I think is the exact argument of Yahoo with which I tend to agree with.

Breach said,
Personally, given the inherent controversy of all this, I think that Microsoft should have made this a mandatory user selection option at set-up time (yeah, yeah I know - this kind of thinking a big no, no usability-wise). Although I hail Microsoft's approach to user's privacy, let's face it - most users will never check, never know about this setting at all which I think is the exact argument of Yahoo with which I tend to agree with.
It actually IS a setup option during install / first run! You're being asked if you wand to use DNT.

Tumultus said,
It actually IS a setup option during install / first run! You're being asked if you wand to use DNT.

Once again bingo. This is a user choice during setup. They can choose to enable disable settings or just have them all enabled with a single click.

I know I prefer to personally review all settings during setup, and I do so and I made the choice to leave DNT on, but did change some other settings.

It is opt-in.

Shane Nokes said,

Once again bingo. This is a user choice during setup. They can choose to enable disable settings or just have them all enabled with a single click.

I know I prefer to personally review all settings during setup, and I do so and I made the choice to leave DNT on, but did change some other settings.

It is opt-in.

Thanks - I still haven't seen IE 10, and from what I've read I got the wrong impression. Then I don't really see what anyone can complain about. Making the default selection to 'enable' is a good decision so that people who don't understand this at all err on the side of caution.

Not surprised, without targeted ads the internet's free services aren't sustainable, MS can do without targeted ads because it doesn't need to make a profit on it's online business, Yahoo, AOL, Google and others need to.

thealexweb said,
Not surprised, without targeted ads the internet's free services aren't sustainable, MS can do without targeted ads because it doesn't need to make a profit on it's online business, Yahoo, AOL, Google and others need to.

That's their fault for using a poor business model.

Enron said,

That's their fault for using a poor business model.

What's the alternate? drop the targeted ads? MS does that and it's online business has racked up billions of dollars in losses over the past decade and continues to rack em up.

thealexweb said,

What's the alternate? drop the targeted ads? MS does that and it's online business has racked up billions of dollars in losses over the past decade and continues to rack em up.

Make software people are willing to pay to use.

Or at least offer a paid, ad-free, tracking free version.

Enron said,

Make software people are willing to pay to use.

Or at least offer a paid, ad-free, tracking free version.

Whenever major websites have put up paywalls or software has gone premium the userbase has collapsed, the overwhelming majority has no desire whatsoever to pay for any software or access any websites.

MindTrickz said,

Poor business model? Google makes billions in profit each year.

Having to rely heavily on advertising.

Enron said,

Having to rely heavily on advertising.

Because they use a tried and tested business model, by ditching the targeted ads so much of the internet will fall and millions of jobs will go with it.

thealexweb said,

Because they use a tried and tested business model, by ditching the targeted ads so much of the internet will fall and millions of jobs will go with it.

No, they'll just have to get used to using non-targeted ads just like TV has done for decades. If they can't get that to work then tough.

jakem1 said,

No, they'll just have to get used to using non-targeted ads just like TV has done for decades. If they can't get that to work then tough.

It's tough the other way round, DNT will just be ignored by all and the internet will remain free and great.

thealexweb said,

It's tough the other way round, DNT will just be ignored by all and the internet will remain free and great.

You make it sound like the web didn't exist or have good free services before tracking became so pervasive.

The internet was free and great even before online advertising and tracking. It will be after tracking is done away with too.

Drossel said,
Marissa came from Google. Google doesn't respect your privacy. And the story continues...

It is the way how Google makes its money, it is the way how Yahoo hopes to make its money so it isn't suprising.

They're right to do this. When you don't use DNT, that doesn't mean you want to be tracked; it means you have *no preference*. By including DNT, IE is lying and saying that you have a preference.

And by the way, don't assume it's just the advertising companies that are against Microsoft's discompliance. Mozilla -- who originally proposed the standard -- made it opt-in (rather than opt-out) on purpose. This article goes into more detail:
https://blog.mozilla.org/priva...e-users-voice-that-matters/

Meph said,
They're right to do this. When you don't use DNT, that doesn't mean you want to be tracked; it means you have *no preference*. By including DNT, IE is lying and saying that you have a preference.

And by the way, don't assume it's just the advertising companies that are against Microsoft's discompliance. Mozilla -- who originally proposed the standard -- made it opt-in (rather than opt-out) on purpose. This article goes into more detail:
https://blog.mozilla.org/priva...e-users-voice-that-matters/

Microsoft have also made it opt-in.

jakem1 said,
Microsoft have also made it opt-in.

No, you have to opt-out of using DNT in IE10. It's enabled by default.

Meph said,

No, you have to opt-out of using DNT in IE10. It's enabled by default.
Actually, You're being asked during installation / first start of Windows 8 if you want to use DNT.

Tumultus said,
Actually, You're being asked during installation / first start of Windows 8 if you want to use DNT.

Bingo. You're asked if you want to customize the settings or do an express install.

At this point the user has the option to decide if they want to turn things on or off, or just turn it all on and go on their merry way.

The user decides this...so it's most definitely opt-in.

Shane Nokes said,

Bingo. You're asked if you want to customize the settings or do an express install.

At this point the user has the option to decide if they want to turn things on or off, or just turn it all on and go on their merry way.

The user decides this...so it's most definitely opt-in.


But it's ticked by default, isn't it? Most users won't understand what it is and will just leave it ticked. The whole point of DNT is that users are consciously and knowingly opt-out of tracking by opting-in to DNT. If only the people who actually want to use DNT are using it, this shows advertisers that these people are not interested and there's no point in trying to track them. There was a great article by a developer at Mozilla explaining this much better than I can, but I can't find it.

Meph said,

But it's ticked by default, isn't it? Most users won't understand what it is and will just leave it ticked. The whole point of DNT is that users are consciously and knowingly opt-out of tracking by opting-in to DNT. If only the people who actually want to use DNT are using it, this shows advertisers that these people are not interested and there's no point in trying to track them. There was a great article by a developer at Mozilla explaining this much better than I can, but I can't find it.

So we care now what box is ticked by default? We care now that most users that don't understand what "Do Not Track" means... should have that DNT header enabled at all time just cause they're just smart enough to turn on the PC and tie their shoelaces.

Shadowzz said,
So we care now what box is ticked by default?

The checkbox that appears on first-run when users choose the "custom settings" button, rather than "express settings".

Shadowzz said,
We care now that most users that don't understand what "Do Not Track" means... should have that DNT header enabled at all time just cause they're just smart enough to turn on the PC and tie their shoelaces.

I don't understand what you mean. If you mean I'm suggesting users in general are dumb, then no, but there is very little awareness of the DNT header and what it does. Most users are not even aware of what tracking cookies are.

Corvini said,
Microsoft has ****ed IE10 users big time now. That's what happens when you don't follow agreed upon standards.

You are asked whether you want to activate DNT when you first start IE10 so they are complying with the spirit and the letter of the standard. It's the user's choice and companies like Yahoo are simply ignoring it for their own gain.

Corvini said,
Microsoft has ****ed IE10 users big time now. That's what happens when you don't follow agreed upon standards.

1. nothing in regards of the internet is a standard (the W3C can't issue standards!)
2. DNT is not a binding contract, the idea behind it may be good, but the execution is simply lacking...

Corvini said,
Microsoft has ****ed IE10 users big time now. That's what happens when you don't follow agreed upon standards.
'
No MS has not, you're either blind or ignorant here.
MS uses this playing field to battle the war on Google and some minor ad companies, but mainly Google. Where in this battle, MS is the one defending us... the consumers.
And MS is following the standards W3 agreed upon. Might want to read up on that unbiased this time.

Ref.: "... we will not recognize IE10's default DNT signal on Yahoo! properties at this time."

Does that mean YAHOO considers my computer THEIR property? I don't care what they plant on their servers but putting a tracking cookie on my PC should be illegal without my consent!

Tumultus said,
Does that mean YAHOO considers my computer THEIR property?

Their properties as in sites, services, etc. Not that I agree with their decision, DNT is dead before it's even finalized.

Max Norris said,

Their properties as in sites, services, etc. Not that I agree with their decision, DNT is dead before it's even finalized.
Yeah, I knew what they meant by "properties", yet, my PC doesn't belong to their sites nor servers and placing a permanent tracking cookie there shouldn't be allowed without asking for my permission, especially not if my DNT is enabled!

BTW: I installed W8 Pro on 3 different machines yeasterday. On all of them I have been asked if I want DNT enabled, so, it isn't that a user doesn't get a chance to know about this settings nor review them.

What's the point of having this feature if one party won't honor another party's setting and if it has to be off my default?

Just don't do it and lie to people that they privacy is being protected!

I don't care, I've stopped honoring Yahoo with a visit years ago.

New slogan for yahoo: d*cks don't deserve clicks.

Chugworth said,
It's a horrible state of affairs when advertisement companies can show us ads personalized to our interests.

It's horrible when they force it on you. Personally I find it creepy and I lose trust in a website when I encounter ads for products that I've searched for elsewhere.

I don't want to be advertised at and I certainly don't expect to have companies tracking my movements and behaviour to make a quick buck. If I activate DNT then I expect my wish for privacy to be respected, not second-guessed or ignored.

jakem1 said,
I don't want to be advertised at and I certainly don't expect to have companies tracking my movements and behaviour to make a quick buck.

Then quit using free online services. They're not just being provided because the companies are awfully generous.

Chugworth said,

Then quit using free online services. They're not just being provided because the companies are awfully generous.

That's not a very well thought out statement...

Sad state of affairs when you need a network firewall just to browse the internet without being tracked or infected. DNT is a waste of time compared to blocking their domains

Thank you Yahoo, you have giving me another reason to NEVER use Yahoo.

Can not wait to discuss this with my students Monday...... Oops there goes another 200 users.......

A rather arrogant statement by Yahoo. Who are they to say users consider "Do Not Track" as a degrading experience? But then, Microsoft has more than its share of arrogant behavior. It is always dangerous making blanket statements about what users like/want or don't like/don't want. Hint: give users choices and then have them opt in for the "feature." [Opt out is blatant arrogance--never a nice situation.]

"degrades the experience for the majority of users"? = means if we cannot track you, we cannot send Ads to you and we don't get money for that ... lol ...

MDboyz said,
"degrades the experience for the majority of users"? = means if we cannot track you, we cannot send Ads to you and we don't get money for that ... lol ...

That's unfair to say. I support DNT, but here's the reality of what you're trying to say:

* They can, of course, still deliver ads. They'll just be overwhelmingly less relevant, and would have to rely on broader market research based on general assumptions about who consumes that particular kind of content based on what information they *can* glean from your identity. Individually relevant content becomes impossible, though.

* Ads aren't the extent of what can be delivered by access to browsing habits. As the internet becomes more about content delivery, legitimate service itself can be enhanced by having access to an individual level of detail.

I like DNT on by default, but I feel that it's labeled poorly, communicated poorly, and understood poorly by even the self-styled tech enthusiasts of the world. It's ultimately about a more "personalized" internet experience, and it should probably be branded more closely to that fact.

Joshie said,

That's unfair to say. I support DNT, but here's the reality of what you're trying to say:

* They can, of course, still deliver ads. They'll just be overwhelmingly less relevant, and would have to rely on broader market research based on general assumptions about who consumes that particular kind of content based on what information they *can* glean from your identity. Individually relevant content becomes impossible, though.

* Ads aren't the extent of what can be delivered by access to browsing habits. As the internet becomes more about content delivery, legitimate service itself can be enhanced by having access to an individual level of detail.

I like DNT on by default, but I feel that it's labeled poorly, communicated poorly, and understood poorly by even the self-styled tech enthusiasts of the world. It's ultimately about a more "personalized" internet experience, and it should probably be branded more closely to that fact.

It's not about branding, it's about execution.

If large companies want to track customers' habits in order to provide a better experience they need to execute that in a way that is honest: user opt-ins, separate framework from advertisers, transparency of the information collected. There should be an industry standardized framework that allows users to choose what information, if any, they would like to be collected, and by whom. Users should also be able to go to one location and see all of the information that has been collected on them and given the option to remove any or all of that data.

Yahoo is trying to have it's cake and eat it too. They may want to offer better services based on tracking, but they also want to continue to line their pockets with revenue from the premium advertising and info dealers that it provides.

thomastmc said,

It's not about branding, it's about execution.

If large companies want to track customers' habits in order to provide a better experience they need to execute that in a way that is honest: user opt-ins, separate framework from advertisers, transparency of the information collected. There should be an industry standardized framework that allows users to choose what information, if any, they would like to be collected, and by whom. Users should also be able to go to one location and see all of the information that has been collected on them and given the option to remove any or all of that data.

Yahoo is trying to have it's cake and eat it too. They may want to offer better services based on tracking, but they also want to continue to line their pockets with revenue from the premium advertising and info dealers that it provides.


If large.. any sites want to track their users for the good of the users and to improve the site. This is allowed by DNT standards.

Geesh people stop bullsh*ting on everything. Know what you're spreading FUD about at least.

Glad I don't use Yahoo then. If a company's not interested in respecting my right to privacy then I'm not interested in having anything to do with them.

jakem1 said,
Glad I don't use Yahoo then. If a company's not interested in respecting my right to privacy then I'm not interested in having anything to do with them.
I was thinking the same Thing! In fact, I may start a list of sites that don't honor DNT and make sure I can live without them.

jakem1 said,
Glad I don't use Yahoo then. If a company's not interested in respecting my right to privacy then I'm not interested in having anything to do with them.

So you do not use any of Google's services?

hagjohn said,
Yeah, yeah. Make you wonder if any of these big sites were ever going to follow DNT.

They were not. Remember, follow the money.

hagjohn said,
Yeah, yeah. Make you wonder if any of these big sites were ever going to follow DNT.

As soon as DNT would have been activated by more than 1% of the users they would have started ignoring it. DNT is simply a stupid idea as everyone can choose to ignore it...

MFH said,

As soon as DNT would have been activated by more than 1% of the users they would have started ignoring it. DNT is simply a stupid idea as everyone can choose to ignore it...

Funny thing though, DNT is legally binding in some countries already and more to come.
Also if MS would just enable tracking protection when someone enables DNT header... It still makes tracking harder for most. (or unable to give precise enough data)

Indeed. I hope that IE10 has an alert/prompt that pops up when you visit a website that doesn't obey DNT. If not, someone should create a little extension for that.

That would exert a great deal of pressure on Yahoo's site as their web hits would start dropping measurably.