Microsoft Fights W3C, Following The Updated “Do Not Track” Draft

By | June 11, 2012 | 7 Comments

Microsoft Fights W3C, Following The Updated “Do Not Track” DraftJust after enabling the “Do Not Track” attribute by default on IE10, guys at W3C have updated their DNT specifications as they now require web browsers to have this feature disabled during initial software launch.

Here is what they have to say:

Today we reaffirmed the group consensus that a user agent MUST NOT set a default of DNT:1 or DNT:0, unless the act of selecting that user agent is itself a choice that expresses the user’s preference for privacy. In all cases, a DNT signal MUST be an expression of a user’s preference.


So what does that mean? If the following draft is approved, advertisers could pretty much ignore IE10’s DNT setting and still track web users.

However, following such adjustment, Microsoft issued an official response:

Results of a recent study by the Pew Internet & American Life Project show 68 percent of respondents were “Not OK” with targeted advertising because they don’t like having their online behavior tracked and analyzed.

In short, we agree with those who say this is all about user choice. However, we respectfully disagree with those who argue that the default setting for DNT should favor tracking as opposed to privacy.

And the saga continues…

[Thanks, Ichann]


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.

  • Sirnh1

    I can imagine advertisers ignoring the DNT header in IE, just because it’s on by default.
    Since it’s always on by default, it doesn’t really express the users preference. (Especially since the options menu in IE is one of the worst option screen around, and finding it will most likely be too hard for the average person (even
    if they
    know that the option exists)

    Besides… they (legally spoken) don’t HAVE to respect the header, do they?

    • Hiram

      http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20120523005533/en/‘Do-Track’-Regulation-Set-Enforced-Europe…U.S.-VisiStat In the EU they have to respect the DNT header(since the 26th of May, this year), however that doesn’t fully address the problem as there are alternatives to the cookie based tracking method(which is the one that DNT addresses), one of which is mentioned in the article as being provided by VisiStat.

    • Guest

      I don’t think anybody want to be tracked somewhere. If someone wants to install surveilance camera on your head it wont happen without your permission. If you wish so much to be tracked why not just enable the option?
      I don’t mind sites to store data on their site when visitor arrives, but I dont like the endless cookie storage in my browser which expires after 10 years!

    • http://hector-macias.blogspot.com Hector Macias Ayala

      Off by default surely represents everybodys choice!!

  • Heath

    Microsoft is looking out for everyone’s safety and privacy. W3C is trying to appease advertisers and spammers. What F’ed up world did I wake up to? Tomorrow, I expect gravity to pull me upwards and water to not be wet.

    • http://my.opera.com/rafaelluik Rafael

      It’s a matter of point of view.
      Can’t you remotely think who Microsoft would affect with this choice?

      The answer: Microsoft will be making Google business (targeted ads) very hard for them.

  • Ichann

    I do not get some people complaining. 

    They claim they do not want to be tracked but they themselves post every sensitive bit on information to social sites and the web.