Apache Overrides IE10 Do Not Track Tag

By | September 10, 2012

Apache Overrides IE10 Do Not Track TagApache 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.

[Source: TheRegiser, H-Online]

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.

Comments (12)

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  1. none says:

    When I first logged into Windows8, I was asked if I want the DNT flag set. So a human did make the choice to send the flag.

  2. Theodoros Agapios says:

    That’s what I was talking about. They (web sites/servers/etc) just ignore DNT if they want. End of story.

  3. xczvzxcv says:

    But they ignore DNT only on IE right?

  4. To Apache says:

    Isn’t Mr. Apache not violating the DNT now
    ? Lets patch the internet to disable the Apache :)

    For IE10 is not violating anything, When
    you install WIn8 it clearly says and ask for user which options it needs.

    DNT should be
    enabled by default – I question the standard committee did they conduct any
    user poll to determine what should be the default for DNT. By default no has
    any permission to track anyone without proper user concern. These standard
    committees are formed by Ads company they want to earn more money.

  5. And what about those who actually are ok with DNT, is Apache who to tell what their choice must be?

  6. Guest says:

    >Still using Internet Exploder


  7. Tiago Sá says:

    Apache is doing nothing wrong here. DNT should be a non-default choice, as per standard, and IE10 is not doing that.

  8. Tiago Sá says:

    Apache is doing nothing wrong here. DNT should be a non-default choice, as per standard, and IE10 is not doing that.

    • against apache now says:

      Apache is definitely doing wrong, apache should treat any browser equally. Apache is doing discrimination. Also, DNT option in windows is clear user choice. Windows 8 informs this to the user in the clear text. Kindly install windows 8 see.

    • So what if I actually dont want to be tracked and want to use IE10? Apache does harm my right to choose, just as much as MS did.

  9. asd says:

    That’s just stupid and a waste of time. They should sniff for the IE user-agent string and redirect to browser choice if anyone accesses a page from a server running Apache. I’m not being funny.