Yahoo! Snaps at Microsoft Over Do Not Track, Will Ignore IE10

Yahoo! isn't pleased with what its close partner is doing

By on October 27th, 2012 13:21 GMT

Microsoft isn't making a lot friends with its decision to enable Do Not Track by default. The biggest advertising trade group already came out against the decision and said that its members will not respect it.

The Apache web server will also ignore the request coming from Internet Explorer 10, which includes the default setting. Even so, you wouldn't expect one of Microsoft's closer allies to come out against it. 

But that's exactly what Yahoo! did and it didn't mince words, it singled out Microsoft and IE 10 as problems and said that it can't support a Do Not Track standard where browser makers decide for the users.

"Unfortunately, because discussions have not yet resulted in a final standard for how to implement DNT, the current DNT signal can easily be abused," Yahoo explained.

"Recently, Microsoft unilaterally decided to turn on DNT in Internet Explorer 10 by default, rather than at users’ direction," it recounted.

"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," it added.

This is the view that all advertisers share and it's something that most if not all of the people on the other side to the barricade, i.e. browser makers and even web server makers, support.

Do Not Track means nothing without user control. Mozilla is a strong proponent of user privacy but it's even stronger proponent of user control.

Having DNT enabled by default just shifts the balance of power from advertisers to Microsoft, users still don't have a say or even know what's happening.

"Ultimately, we believe that DNT must map to user intent — not to the intent of one browser creator, plug-in writer, or third-party software service. Therefore, although Yahoo! will continue to offer Ad Interest Manager and other tools, we will not recognize IE10’s default DNT signal on Yahoo! properties at this time," Yahoo said.

The discussion around DNT is not progressing and Microsoft is the big reason why. It's pretty obvious that it's misguided and roundabout try at hurting Google protecting user privacy is backfiring and the question of what exactly Microsoft hopes to achieve with this comes up.

At this current rate, all that it's going to achieve is to obliterate efforts to standardize Do Not Track. If that's what Microsoft wants it's doing a great job at it.

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