One step forward, two steps back seems to be the way to go for Yahoo. On one hand, the company has been putting in an effort to make users safe by encrypting data between its servers and fighting for its users’ privacy, while on the other, it demonstrates that it doesn’t really care if those same users don’t want to be tracked online.
The company has announced that it will soon stop complying with Do Not Track signals sent by web browsers on behalf of users who do not want to be monitored for advertising purposes.
“As of today, web browser Do Not Track settings will no longer be enabled on Yahoo. As the first major tech company to implement Do Not Track, we’ve been at the heart of conversations surrounding how to develop the most user-friendly standard. However, we have yet to see a single standard emerge that is effective, easy to use and has been adopted by the broader tech industry,” the company justifies its decision.
The company complains that while some third parties have committed to honor Do Not Track, most have not taken these steps. “In February 2012, the major online advertising trade groups pledged at the White House to support Do Not Track by year-end; that promise remains unfulfilled. Efforts to standardize Do Not Track in the World Wide Web Consortium have resulted in deadlock, despite frequent urging by American and European policymakers,” reads the announcement.
The company has also protested against Microsoft’s decision to turn on Do Not Track by default for all users on its Internet Explorer 10 web browser by not honoring Do Not Track signals.
While Yahoo claims that user privacy continues to be a top priority, users will have to manage their privacy on Yahoo while benefiting from a personalized web experience, or, in other words, with the help of some well-placed ads.
Yahoo isn’t the only one to drop its efforts to comply with Do Not Track, since others have also quit for the same reasons – the lack of implementing actual guidelines and improving the system.
It seems like the list of sites adhering to Do Not Track is getting shorter and shorter, although it still contains some big names, such as Pinterest and Twitter. Not even Google will comply with the measure on most occasions and that shouldn’t really be surprising.
After all, all these companies make money through advertising, which accounts for most of their revenues.