Do Not Track Saved at the Last Minute, but Don't Expect Anything Concrete Before 2014

The parties involved agree that they should agree on DNT

By on February 14th, 2013 10:45 GMT

Despite the in-fighting and Microsoft's work in destroying any consensus, Do Not Track is getting back on, well, track. The W3C has been trying to create a DNT web standard. Unfortunately, negotiations were derailed when Microsoft went ahead on its own and implemented DNT in Windows 8 in a way incompatible with the draft specs.

Advertisers, who were on board with DNT up to that point balked and announced that they would not be respecting the DNT setting coming from Internet Explorer 10.

For a while, it looked like DNT was dead, as neither party was willing to budge.

Finally though, it seems that there is some progress, Peter Swire, who leads the DNT working group, announced that there is now finally some consensus on DNT.

Consensus, in the sense that all the parties agree on the fact that they should agree over the major issues before hashing out the standard, but it's a start.

It feels like going back to square one though, there are now clear goals, but these are things that should have been settled long ago.

All that the parties have been able to agree upon is that DNT should reflect the opinions of those involved, should make a significant change to the status quo and should specify exactly what happens when a user enables DNT.

"Now that we have identified as a group all of the moving pieces involved in developing a DNT standard, our work shifts to the point-by-point resolution of issues that will lead us to actual spec language," Swire explained.

"We will define each task, have members of the group take ownership for drafting text, and resolutely march through the issues each week from here out," he added.

What all of this means is that it's going to be months, probably longer, before any progress is made. Don't expect DNT to actually mean anything before 2014.

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