Digital Advertising Alliance Snubs “Do Not Track” Setting

The Digital Advertising Alliance won't penalize firms that ignore browsers that enable "Do Not Track" by default — including Microsoft's Internet Explorer 10.

Microsoft’s plan to make “Do Not Track” the rule of the online road just ran into a brick wall.

Machine-driven do not track does not represent user choice; it represents browser-manufacturer choice.

The Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA), a coalition of online advertising trade groups, recently announced guidance to its members regarding the “Do Not Track” setting, which allows end-users to prevent advertisers or other third parties from tracking their browsing.

Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 10, which comes out later this month as a part of Windows 8 (but is available now for testing), has the setting turned on by default. That decision was controversial when it was first announced.

The alliance’s take? Users should decide to turn the setting on — not browser companies. And as such, the group will not require advertising companies to follow the settings if set by default on the browser.

“The trade associations that lead the DAA do not believe that Microsoft’s IE10 browser settings are an appropriate standard for providing consumer choice,” the group’s statement said. “Machine-driven do not track does not represent user choice; it represents browser-manufacturer choice.”

Members of Congress criticized the group’s decision.

“If consumers want to be tracked online, they should have to opt in to be tracked, instead of the other way around,” Reps. Ed Markey (D-MA) and Joe Barton (R-TX) said in a joint statement.

With privacy becoming an increasingly important issue online, is this the right tack for the advertising industry to take?


Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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