Apache HTTP Server, a software that is widely used by more than 600 million web sites (that’s about 60% percent of the http client market share), has recently issued a patch, which overrides Internet Explorer’s DNT setting.
What does it mean? It means that the majority of all the web sites will ignore the Do Not Track setting by default.
The patch’s author, Adobe employee Roy T. Fielding, has said the following:
The only reason DNT exists is to express a non-default option. That’s all it does. It does not protect anyone’s privacy unless the recipients believe it was set by a real human being, with a real preference for privacy over personalization.
Microsoft deliberately violates the standard. They made a big deal about announcing that very fact. Microsoft are members of the Tracking Protection working group and are fully informed of these facts. They are fully capable of requesting a change to the standard, but have chosen not to do so. The decision to set DNT by default in IE10 has nothing to do with the user’s privacy. Microsoft knows full well that the false signal will be ignored, and thus prevent their own users from having an effective option for DNT even if their users want one. You can figure out why they want that. If you have a problem with it, choose a better browser.
In the meantime, people who were involved in the patch discussions have accused Fielding of abusing his power. In addition to that, since the EU itself supports Microsoft’s decision, some people expressed the fear about the potential legal consequences that may or may not become reality.
Microsoft did not comment on the story.
About (Author Profile)
Vygantas is a former web designer whose projects are used by companies such as AMD, NVIDIA and departed Westood Studios. Being passionate about software, Vygantas began his journalism career back in 2007 when he founded FavBrowser.com. Having said that, he is also an adrenaline junkie who enjoys good books, fitness activities and Forex trading.