Microsoft has made waves in the online world by declaring that “Do Not Track”, a new option introduced in browsers that tells websites and ad agencies to not track online user behavior, is enabled by default in Internet Explorer 10. As expected, many organizations came out against this move by Microsoft, while many supported it. Chalk up Yahoo as one of the entities that is not very happy with default Do Not Track (DNT) in IE 10.
In fact, Yahoo is so butthurt about default DNT in IE10 that Yahoo has announced they are going to simply ignore DNT for people using IE 10:
…we will not recognize IE10’s default DNT signal on Yahoo! properties at this time.
It should be noted that Yahoo says they will “not recognize IE10’s default DNT signal” but, as far as I know, DNT does not distinguish if it has been enabled by default or by explicit user choice; so this essentially means Yahoo is ignoring DNT from all IE10 users, regardless of if users explicitly want to use it or not.
For what it is worth, Yahoo says they they support DNT “in principle”, seemingly indicating that Yahoo will honor DNT from other browsers. Yahoo, however, feels “DNT must map to user intent — not to the intent of one browser creator, plug-in writer, or third-party software service”, which is why DNT on IE10 is being ignored by them.
Aside from that, one of the biggest reasons for Yahoo ignoring IE10 DNT is, according to Yahoo, Yahoo users want a personalized experience. Yahoo claims that DNT will hinder Yahoo’s ability to provide its users with personalized experience. In reality, however, Yahoo’s argument is bullsh!t.
As Sophos rightly points out, DNT does not hinder the ability to provide users with a personalized experience. Anyone that wants a personalized experience on a website, such as Yahoo, can simply login and get it. DNT is more aimed at advertisers providing personalized ads via the use of tracking cookies.
This is a slippery slope, my friends. DNT by itself has no teeth; for DNT to work, Web 2.0 companies and advertisers need to comply. If companies don’t comply, DNT is useless.