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Advertisers Blast Microsoft Over IE Default Privacy Settings

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the don't-track-me-bro dept.

Businesses 558

theodp writes "GeekWire reports that Microsoft is sticking to its decision to implement 'Do-Not-Track' as the default for IE 10, despite drawing the ire of corporate America, the Apache Software Foundation, and the FTC Chairman. Representatives of a veritable Who's Who of Corporate America — e.g., GM, IBM, BofA, Walmart, Merck, Allstate, AT&T, Motorola — signed off on a letter blasting Microsoft for its choice. 'By presenting Do Not Track with a default on,' the alliance argues, 'Microsoft is making the wrong choice for consumers.' The group reminds Microsoft that Apache — whose Platinum Sponsors have branded Microsoft's actions a deliberate abuse of open standards and designed its software to ignore the 'do-not-track' setting if the browser reaching it is IE 10. It also claims that the FTC Chairman, formerly supportive of Microsoft's privacy efforts, now recognizes 'the harm to consumers that Microsoft's decision could create.'"

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Microsoft cares about privacy (4, Insightful)

PieDude (2745317) | more than 2 years ago | (#41547399)

I don't really understand what people are crying about. Microsoft has said that they will try to make IE10 better for users and this is one of the features implemented to enable that. Note that Microsoft itself owns an advertising network and is part of the advertising committee - it's that much that Microsoft wants to protect their users.

Of course, Microsoft's actions aren't new. They have always cared about privacy. Their tracking and beta debugging has always been opt-in. This in unlike Google where you often cannot even opt-out, and it's never opt-in in any case.

Microsoft simply cares about users privacy and advertisers are crying about it. Too bad for them, I say. Advertisers on TV manage to work without any tracking, it should work on the internet too.

Re:Microsoft cares about privacy (5, Insightful)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 2 years ago | (#41547481)

Ok riddle me this.....

Exactly how would this be a detriment to the users?

Everyone out there that objects to 'not being tracked' for advertisement purposes please raise their hands....

[crickets chirping]

Re:Microsoft cares about privacy (4, Informative)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 2 years ago | (#41547529)

Ok riddle me this.....

Exactly how would this be a detriment to the users?

Simple: If browsers turn DNT on by default the advertisers will simply ignore it.

(They're going to ignore it anyway, so no big loss...)

Re:Microsoft cares about privacy (0)

theillien (984847) | more than 2 years ago | (#41547617)

That really doesn't answer the question of how it would be detrimental too consumers.

Re:Microsoft cares about privacy (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41547779)

It would be detrimental too consumers because suddenly the product would have to opt-in.

So you admit tracking is bad for customers (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41547655)

If advertisers ignoring DNT is bad for customers, then tracking customers is bad for them.

Hence a default DNT is good for customers, but advertisers don't like it because it is bad for them.

Re:So you admit tracking is bad for customers (2)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 2 years ago | (#41547805)

Advertisers ignoring DNT is bad for customers because those who are concerned about being "tracked" for advertising purposes have no way to turn off tracking.

Not everyone falls into the category of being concerned however. In fact, most people probably benefit from advertisers "tracking" them (that is, an anonymous, secure, computer determining what ads to show based upon the websites a browser has recently visited, largely to ensure that ads appear that are relevent to that person's interests.) Long before you'd turn on "do not track" you'd probably install an ad blocker anyway if you really, sincerely, do not want to be shown relevent ads.

A default DNT is bad for customers generally because it'll be ignored. It'll be ignored because if the majority of people fall into the category of benefiting from tracking, and if most advertisers lose out if tracking is not done, then advertisers will, absent some mandate, ignore it, which means those who actively don't want to be tracked, because they happen to use that machine to download their midget porn, don't get a say in the matter.

Does it make sense now?

Re:Microsoft cares about privacy (4, Insightful)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 2 years ago | (#41547709)

Exactly how would this be a detriment to the users?

The browser is running on a user's hardware. It should always do what the _user_ wants, not what some adspamming company wants instead. It's common sense, "my hardware, my rules".

Re:Microsoft cares about privacy (5, Insightful)

shoemilk (1008173) | more than 2 years ago | (#41547525)

I just finished reading the letter and found it disgusting. If you took it out of "the internet" and put it in the real world things like

By setting the Internet Explorer browser to block data collection, Microsoft’s action could potentially eliminate the ability to collect web viewing data of up to 43 percent of the browsers used by Americans.

would read more like

By setting the curtains to closed by default, Microsoft’s action could potentially eliminate the ability to peep through windows of up to 43 percent of the houses used by Americans.

To top it off, they have gems like this

A simple example of advertising in the television medium makes this point clear. If consumers were presented a choice of whether they want advertisements on network television to be broadcast, consumers would likely choose “no advertising.” But if 43 percent of American households were removed from the television advertising audience, consumers collectively would suffer because network television as we know it would no longer be a viable business model.

They're acting like MS is installing adblock and turning it on by default. What MS is doing is making the internet more like TV, where the adds are dumb and have to be generally targeted at the type of site, as opposed to creepily personalized.

Re:Microsoft cares about privacy (1, Insightful)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 2 years ago | (#41547843)

That's a very poor analogy.

First of all, most curtains are open by default!

Secondly, leaving that aside, which doesn't really pertain to anything, there's a difference between an anonymous secured computer trying to figure out what ads you might be interested in based upon information it "sees", and a peeping tom trying to catch you naked in the shower.

Here's a question: would you object if, when installed and first run, IE popped up a message like this:

Some advertisers would like their servers to use your browsing history to serve ads that are relevent to you. Do you want to allow them, or do you want to see generic ads of stuff you're probably not interested in?

Before complaining the above is biased, tell me how. Tell me how it's untrue. And tell me why that would be worse than DNT by default, or no DNT by default.

Re:Microsoft cares about privacy (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41547865)

> network television as we know it would no longer be a viable business model.

and nothing of value was lost.

Re:Microsoft cares about privacy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41547537)

You know that MS has their own ad network, right? You know that their ad tracking is opt out too, right? The only difference from Google in this aspect is that MS ad division is not as successful, so they can afford this little publicity stunt with IE10.

P.S.: Same minute post, only post from a new account, MS loving, Google bashing, facts missing... Eeeyup, please shill/troll harder - you forgot to mention Visual Studio, how could you?

Re:Microsoft cares about privacy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41547585)

Not to be like GP and provide factual links: here, I'm sure you've opted in for this [microsoft.com] , right?

I hope those modding you up get metamodded to hell, so go on highlighting the idiots with modpoints. I almost like your trolling style.

Re:Microsoft cares about privacy (0)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#41547653)

You can opt out [google.com] from Google, my dear shill.

Re:Microsoft cares about privacy (1, Insightful)

PieDude (2745317) | more than 2 years ago | (#41547697)

Like that is going to work. They did so well with the Safari incident [slashdot.org] , too.

Re:Microsoft cares about privacy (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41547701)

I don't really understand what people are crying about. Microsoft has said that they will try to make IE10 better for users and this is one of the features implemented to enable that.

Actually, their implementation is useless (unless you want to explicitly opt IN).

DNT is not a purely technical solution. It only works in conjunction with legislation (or voluntary codes of conduct). These rules may either say: (i) tracking is allowed, unless the user explicitly objects; or (ii) tracking is forbidden, unless the user explicitly expresses his/her consent.

Microsoft's implementation only works in case (ii). The user can express his/her consent to be tracked by unchecking the option ("DNT: no"). It does not work in case (i), though. It the browser sets "DNT: yes" by default, it is not the user's explicit decision. From a legal standpoint, "DNT: yes" becomes equivalent to "unspecified".

Thus, Microsoft's choice does NOT increase privacy. Rather, it makes it impossible for users to truly opt out.

Re:Microsoft cares about privacy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41547771)

Because it will be ignored, hence the feature is useless.

It's already useless, because software needs to be changed to recognize it. Everyone will just continue on ignoring it.

This is really something that needs to be moved to HTTP/2.0 where as part of the connection handshake, the server must "NOT TRACK" the connection, eg, no IP logging, no cookies, no local storage (session OK), no refferals, no browser string. Some "privacy" firewalls actually do this, and it results in a crippled experience as the server then sends fall-back or text-only pages.

Harm to consumers (5, Interesting)

Vintowin (1476905) | more than 2 years ago | (#41547425)

'the harm to consumers that Microsoft's decision could create.'" The only harm is to these business' pocketbooks.. For once I'm on MS side in this matter...

Re:Harm to consumers (1)

sweBers (2469450) | more than 2 years ago | (#41547479)

I agree, and it's very rare that I agree with Microsoft decision making.

Re:Harm to consumers (5, Interesting)

cerberusss (660701) | more than 2 years ago | (#41547491)

If you're on the side of MS in this matter, then you are against the industry effort to create a Do Not Track standard.

Re:Harm to consumers (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41547541)

If the industry effort is opt in to privacy then damn right I am against it. If the standard demands opt in only then the standard is wrong and should be ignored and if sites decide to ignore the DNT tag then it is time for regulators to step in.

Re:Harm to consumers (2)

Fjandr (66656) | more than 2 years ago | (#41547611)

Without legislation, the options were "opt in" or nothing at all. By not supporting opt in, you support nothing at all, because there is nothing mandating the DNT feature be honored.

It might have been honored if only those objecting to tracking toggled it. Those who don't object to tracking probably don't care. If they don't care, they certainly won't enable it. The move negates all of the efforts of everyone involved in the DNT movement. All. Of. Them.

Now the only way to get tracking stopped is to mandate it legislatively, and the legislators are already bought and paid for.

Now we're left with what we had before, minus a lot of time spent that has now effectively been wasted.

All the people supporting MS might as well just say "DNT opt-in wasn't good enough for me, so fuck everyone who supported it. If I can't have my way, nobody can. Oh, except advertisers."

Re:Harm to consumers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41547679)

However, you do know laws exist against stalking? Right? Especially in "cyberspace". Perhaps we should start enforcing those.

If Anonymous or some other group would start a counter-campaign against these advertising assholes, outing them personally like hell, maybe people would start realize what's going on, and we'd get to see how the shoe fits on the other foot. I bet we would hear screams of "terrirism!" at 200dB within 10 seconds.

Re:Harm to consumers (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41547695)

no, the standard is an attempt to protect advertisers from legislation, They want to be able to say. Hey no need to legislate us, we honor user privacy through self regulation, which of course they will happily do as long as most people aren't actually using the DNT. Far better the standard dies and legislation is forced down their stinking gullet if this is the approach advertisers want to take.

Re:Harm to consumers (5, Interesting)

terjeber (856226) | more than 2 years ago | (#41547759)

All the people supporting MS might as well just say "DNT opt-in wasn't good enough for me

This is wrong. MS has DNT as opt-in, and they clearly and specifically notifies the user of this on install. This has been well documented. Fielding is wrong here. Doubly so, since his patch would not only affect the people who didn't opt in (they do not exist) it would also affect people like me who specifically wanted DNT on. As I mentioned in another posting, this makes Apache (actually anyone using it with Fielding's patch) a law-breaker in Europe and liable for massive law suits. If Fielding persists, Apache is in serious trouble in Europe for sure, it would basically become an impossible to use piece of junk. I find it sad that Fielding's ego is of such a size that he can not admit he was wrong, but would rather drag Apache's name through the mud than admit as much.

Re:Harm to consumers (2)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 2 years ago | (#41547583)

The 'standard' is without teeth anyway because advertisers are low on morals.

As soon as the PHB reads that they can safely ignore DNT, they will. Anybody who acts all surprised afterwards is an idiot.

Let me rephrase that: (1)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 2 years ago | (#41547713)

"You're against the industry effort to create Do Not Track standard that doesn't change the status quo.

Re:Harm to consumers (1)

terjeber (856226) | more than 2 years ago | (#41547729)

No, you are not. The discussion is about whether Microsoft asks the user if the user wants DNT tracking enabled or disabled. Microsoft does so, very clearly, when installing Windows 8 (the only way you can get the released IE10 as of now. Since the user is asked, Microsoft violates nothing. Fielding's patch is violating the standard in a bad way, since he doesn't discriminate between what he thinks is a user who had DNT set by default with no information (they do not exists) and a user who specifically set DNT:1 on his own.

The cool thing is that this opens any company that uses a Fielding-patched Apache to legal action in Europe. I am looking forward to browsing tons of websites running Apache in Europe later on and suing their asses off. By European law I will win each and every one of those lawsuits. The sad part would be that Apache would disintegrate as a serious HTTP player. Nobody would (indeed could) go near them ever again.

Fielding needs to go back on his meds and have his commit permit revoked instantly.

Re:Harm to consumers (1)

Jack9 (11421) | more than 2 years ago | (#41547815)

> If you're on the side of MS in this matter, then you are against the industry effort to create a Do Not Track standard.

Can you explain how a setting that's standard compliant, combats the standard?

Re:Harm to consumers (1)

LubosD (909058) | more than 2 years ago | (#41547495)

You're completely missing the point. Should Microsoft really have do-not-track on by default, the advertising networks will be likely to ignore this HTTP header altogether. So it won't harm any advertising businesses, only the users. The whole effort would be lost.

Re:Harm to consumers (2)

neokushan (932374) | more than 2 years ago | (#41547523)

Why wouldn't Advertisers ignore it anyway, then? The standard was created to help user privacy, if users all started opting in to the "Do not track" then what makes you so sure that the advertisers wouldn't decide to ignore it anyway?

Re:Harm to consumers (1)

LubosD (909058) | more than 2 years ago | (#41547605)

Because they voluntarily agreed to this under certain conditions. You see, they actually worked together with privacy organizations on this. And now, MS is violating exactly these conditions.

Re:Harm to consumers (1)

neokushan (932374) | more than 2 years ago | (#41547673)

Yeah, they "agreed" to it but what exactly is forcing them to actually staying agreed to it?

Re:Harm to consumers (1)

LubosD (909058) | more than 2 years ago | (#41547715)

Nothing. But no guarantees may still be better than an outright "no".

Re:Harm to consumers (5, Interesting)

neokushan (932374) | more than 2 years ago | (#41547755)

Wrll see here's the thing, "Do not track" according to the advertisers doesn't actually mean "Do not track" but instead means "Don't send me targeted ads". In other words, regardless as to your choice of opting in or not, you're still going to get tracked anyway - regardless of browser.

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/03/the-advertising-industrys-definition-of-do-not-track-doesnt-make-sense/255285/ [theatlantic.com]

The advertising group, however, defines it as forbidding the serving of targeted ads to individuals but not prohibiting the collection of data.

If you ask me, that's the real bullshit move here, not Microsoft's.

Re:Harm to consumers (1)

thereitis (2355426) | more than 2 years ago | (#41547519)

If the DNT setting is on by default then it's Microsoft deciding in favour of enabling DNT, not individual users. Think about that for a second: how much respect will advertisers have for the DNT setting if it's not a user choice to enable it?

Re:Harm to consumers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41547573)

If the DNT setting is on by default then individual users get to choose if they want to be tracked, not big business. But it's a moot point anyway; big business will track you no matter which setting you choose.

Re:Harm to consumers (1)

terjeber (856226) | more than 2 years ago | (#41547781)

If the DNT setting is on by default then it's Microsoft deciding in favour of enabling DNT

It isn't. Basically Microsoft is telling the user DNT exists and that it has been enabled. Does the user want it enabled, please press this button, if they want it disabled, please press this other button. That is perfectly well within the standard. Problem is, Fielding made his decision based on a pre-release of IE10, which was dumb.

Re:Harm to consumers (1)

localhost8080 (819098) | more than 2 years ago | (#41547533)

im with you on that.

Re:Harm to consumers (1)

schitso (2541028) | more than 2 years ago | (#41547545)

The harm is that they're not willing to meet halfway. DNT is just going to be ignored if they don't play nice.

Re:Harm to consumers (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 2 years ago | (#41547559)

This is a voluntary thing - advertisers can simply ignore it if they want to.

So... what do you think will happen if it's on by default in the browsers of the most gullible sector of the market?

Re:Harm to consumers (4, Insightful)

Millennium (2451) | more than 2 years ago | (#41547607)

This. The only acceptable standard for sharing personal data is strictly opt-in, and defaulting to do-not-track creates such a standard. This may cause problems for some dubiously ethical targeted-advertising business models, but that is their problem and nobody else's. The Web thrived before targeting, and it will thrive after targeting.

Re:Harm to consumers (1)

gsnedders (928327) | more than 2 years ago | (#41547737)

No, it provides an opt-out standard. An opt-in standard would be sending a "Track-Me: Yes" header.

Put Yourself in the Shoes of a Greedy Rich Bastard (5, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 2 years ago | (#41547613)

'the harm to consumers that Microsoft's decision could create.'" The only harm is to these business' pocketbooks.. For once I'm on MS side in this matter...

No, no, you see, you need to look at this from the "trickle down" aspect of economics. See, corporations are good, you need to give them a lot of money and then they in turn give that to Americans via jobs and opportunities. So the best way for them to get money is to be able to track consumers so we need to make sure that consumers can be tracked. Ideally, it would be illegal for people to own bank accounts or liquid cash and everyone would basically spend their paycheck within a few days of getting it. And they would spend it online and all the corporations would know where everyone was spending every dollar. That way, the money can work as hard as possible for society by being in corporations' pockets. And then unemployment would be really low because there would be a lot of jobs with all this extra money in corporations. Because they're undeniably good entities and they have more rights than you do because you're not supplying jobs to yourselves, the corporations are.

Why else would it be illegal for you to record every site and place your neighbor visits without their consent but be completely legal and, in fact, desired to allow a faceless corporation to do it? Duh, because we as a completely screwed up society have given the richer entities more rights than an average citizen.

Karl Marx (2)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 2 years ago | (#41547773)

That's basically how Karl Marx described how capitalism would evolve. And how Mussolini claimed Italian Fascism worked. And now it's 2012 and the Western world is re-adopting Fascism (in which corporations assume the role of Government).

Yet there are lots of posters on Slashdot that will tell you they trust unelected, opaque corporations more than they go the US Government, even though their grandfathers fought WW2 to destroy Fascism.

Re:Harm to consumers (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | more than 2 years ago | (#41547817)

Except you cannot make it default. Businesses are willing to work with someone who goes out of there way to say "please do not track", but of course that message becomes meaningless as soon as it is the default.
It is harming consumers when it basically negates this "do not track" setting

A thought ... (0)

Compaqt (1758360) | more than 2 years ago | (#41547455)

1. M$ subverts DND to kill web ads (==Google).

2. M$ earns the wrath of its erstwhile darlings, corporate America.

3. ???

4. Year of the Linux Desktop

you forgot: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41547497)

5. Profit!

Re:A thought ... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41547531)

No, this is part of the 'Embrace, extend and extinguish' technique.

1) Embrace the do-not-track standard with MSIE.
2) Change it, so it becomes useless.
3) Continue selling advertisement and profiling users.

Coperate America loves Microsoft because they can continue doing what they want, since Microsoft gave them the excuse to ignore the do-not-track feature.

Good analysis (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41547681)

I agree. It seems that there must be some abuse somewhere. Microsoft has not been a friendly company, in my opinion.

Advertisers are pissed (4, Insightful)

zenaida_valdez (599247) | more than 2 years ago | (#41547465)

I like it!

My brain hurts! (5, Insightful)

bradley13 (1118935) | more than 2 years ago | (#41547487)

Microsoft doing something right, standing up to government and industry. The cognitive dissonance makes my brain hurt...

That the FTC sees "harm to consumers" just shows that the FTC is a revolving door for industry lobbyists. I mean, it's like putting every new number on the "do not call" list, and requiring consumers to opt-in to intrusive advertising. How horrible that would be! /sarcasm

Re:My brain hurts! (1)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | more than 2 years ago | (#41547547)

They're probably taking a pot shot at Google.

OR (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 2 years ago | (#41547661)

I am still not convinced MS isn't doing another "Embrace, Extend, Extinguish". They embraced DNT, then they extended it by turning it on by default which extinguished because the industry now refuses to support it.

Mind you, this could only be true if MS was a totally evil company that does anything for a buck. Which could never be true of course for one of the most respected software and advertising companies in the world.

Re:OR (1)

terjeber (856226) | more than 2 years ago | (#41547811)

then they extended it by turning it on by default

They don't, so the point is moot. They basically do, "Do you want DNT enabled? Then press this button. If you want to change that, please press this other button. They are doing it well within the spec. Fielding is on some bad drugs (actually, he based his decision on pre-release software, which was dumb).

Re:My brain hurts! (1)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#41547711)

The problem is that DNT is not only optional to the users, but also to the advertisers. If everyone has DNT, advertisers will just ignore it for IE users. We have a choice of letting the privacy-conscious minority use DNT, or noone.

Re:My brain hurts! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41547873)

No joke. I was so confused reading the summary I figured it must have lots of grammatical errors. I kept thinking they meant do-track until I saw the comments.

disgusting (1)

bloodhawk (813939) | more than 2 years ago | (#41547501)

What's truly disgusting here is all these companies arguing that users should have to opt in to privacy. Hopefully privacy groups and laws around privacy will come down hard on companies that try to ignore the DNT. If tracking is so critical then companies should be making their case to users why they should turn them on, if they manage to convince people well and good, but this bullshit of we will only obey the DNT if only a small group of tech savy people use it is just pathetic. It is almost understandable that companies are complaining by the apache group should be castrated for their anti privacy approach.

Re:disgusting (1)

Fjandr (66656) | more than 2 years ago | (#41547687)

While I agree with most of what you're saying, Apache was being pragmatic. Without laws to mandate that DNT is respected, the only chance in hell of it being respected was if it was 100% user initiated to set the DNT flag. Now that it's not, not even those who might have honored it will now. We went from it possibly having some effect to zero possibility of it having any effect.

Technological compromise has now failed, and the likelihood of a legislative one is roughly the same as the percentage of campaign contributions from sources other than special interests.

Re:disgusting (2)

bloodhawk (813939) | more than 2 years ago | (#41547749)

I can see that point of view but completely disagree with it. A half arsed standard is worse than none at all, with a such a poorly thought out standard that advertising know the vast majority of users aren't informed enough to take advantage of they will be able to safely continue to track the majority while at the same time be able to crow about how wonderfully self regulated they are and how they don't need anyone looking into their privacy practises. It is about time this industry was cleaned up. Tracking is an unecessary evil, it should be the responsibility of the advertiser to convince the user of the value of being tracked.

Even so... (1)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 2 years ago | (#41547809)

Apache's job is not to be political in this sense. They should simply implement the standard and let other people argue over how much statutory weight it should have.

Re:disgusting (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41547849)

throwing those that lack the knowledge to protect their own privacy under the bus so those technically knowledgable enough can enjoy some protection is NOT a solution and we all should be against it. It is the responsibility of software producers to protect users whereever possible. The defaults need to be something a user can trust otherwise we are just giving everyone in IT a bad name. Firewalls should always be on, security patches should be installed, privacy should be honored. Security and Privacy should not be something a user needs to choose. Users make enough bad choices and mistakes already without us giving them a low starting point.

Re:disgusting (1)

terjeber (856226) | more than 2 years ago | (#41547867)

Now that it's not, not even those who might have honored it will now. We went from it possibly having some effect to zero possibility of it having any effect.

Not quite. Microsoft clearly asks the user his preference, which is good. This means the user has explicitly stated a preference. That has a very important side effect in Europe, namely that websites are now in fact required to honor DNT (remember, the law is different in Europe and the USA). What does that mean? It means that all advertisers in Europe have to honor DNT. It has a more serious effect though. It makes Apache a dangerous thing to install on websites in Europe. People would simply have to stick with an old version or forego Apache alltogether. That is not in the interest of the Apache foundation I believe.

Just ask (4, Insightful)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 2 years ago | (#41547503)

When you first load up IE10 just ask if the user wants to be tracked. I'm sure 90% will say "no".

Re:Just ask (5, Insightful)

gsslay (807818) | more than 2 years ago | (#41547609)

And I'm sure 90% will say "Huh?" and click the nearest button to make the question go away.

Re:Just ask (1)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 2 years ago | (#41547837)

90% will click "Express" which will include DNT on. This is probably how it really will be implemented. If you clicked "Custom" you could configure DNT by hand.

What's Best? (1)

jamesl (106902) | more than 2 years ago | (#41547513)

From the ANA letter signed by companies such as General Motors Corporation, GE, IBM, and Coca-Cola:

Default policy choices should be set by looking to what is best for society as a whole ...

So, we should leave it to General Motors Corporation to decide "what is best for society as a whole?"

Re:What's Best? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41547601)

Remember What is good for GM, is good for America [wikipedia.org] ...

sanctimonious much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41547549)

What happened to all the sanctimonious outcry about how everything should be "opt in" rather than "opt out".

Regardless of their reasons, I have to go with MS on this one.

Why OFF for Apache? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41547551)

The REAL question is why would Apache default to "Do Not Track" being OFF by default??
Or are they afraid of being blasted if they did so?

To everyone who doesn't understand... (5, Informative)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 2 years ago | (#41547555)

It is not mandatory for advertisers to honour the "Do not track" flag. Internet users need to turn the option on themselves, or they have not expressed their desire to not be trackedthemselves, only to accept the default settings as Microsoft deems fit.

If Microsoft enable it by default, it definitely won't be honoured. If it is only set by the actions of the user, it might be honoured. Now Microsoft decides to piss in the advertiser's cornflakes and expects them to still eat them. Nice job.

Re:To everyone who doesn't understand... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41547625)

that is just bullshit, what advertisers are saying is they will only honor it if a very small portion of users use it, everyone knows the vast majority of users choose and stay with the defaults as they don't know or understand better. The defaults should ALWAYS err in the favour of security and privacy, if that means advertisers ignore privacy then the advertisers have no defense from any laws that decide to lock them down as obviousl self regulation has failed.

Re:To everyone who doesn't understand... (2)

Nursie (632944) | more than 2 years ago | (#41547635)

If a significant number of people turn it on, it will be ignored. This is wheter MS does it or the users do it themselves.

Of course we all know that users won't change the default because they may as well be cattle, but still...

I see the whole thing as a waste of time. Nobody wants to be tracked. A polite request is not oing to fix anything. Technological and legislative measures are needed.

Re:To everyone who doesn't understand... (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 2 years ago | (#41547783)

If a significant number of people turn it on, it will be ignored.

Unlikely. Right now, the choice is "Don't look at the sites which use behavioural advertising if you don't want to be tracked" or "Run an adblocker which cuts the revenue stream from free-to-read sites". With the third Do Not Track option, people can still be shown advertising without worrying about behavioural profiling. It's a middle ground for everyone; Punters get privacy, sites get revenue from ad clicks, advertisers sell stuff through adverts.

From my perspective, if I found that the system worked as it should (MS backed down, the DNT flag is set by the user) and the advertisers still didn't honour it, I'd be tempted to go "scorched earth" and block advertisers at the border of every network I maintain. Putting the domain list in EasyList (Used by adblock+ etc) into iptables wouldn't be difficult at all. Let's see them, track me when they don't even know I exist. Your ball, advertisers.

Re:To everyone who doesn't understand... (1)

rudy_wayne (414635) | more than 2 years ago | (#41547741)

It is not mandatory for advertisers to honour the "Do not track" flag. Internet users need to turn the option on themselves, or they have not expressed their desire to not be trackedthemselves, only to accept the default settings as Microsoft deems fit.

Complete irrelevant bullshit. Every piece of software ever created, every product ever created, comes with certain default settings. That's how the world works. Get over it already. And if you're Internet Explorer, you're the problem.

Re:To everyone who doesn't understand... (1)

terjeber (856226) | more than 2 years ago | (#41547819)

only to accept the default settings as Microsoft deems fit.

They don't. Microsoft asks them and honors their request. The "Sure, lets have DNT enabled" is the default button, but the user is informed and asked to make a selection. Fielding needs to change his meds.

Successfully defeating Do not track (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41547561)

So they turn it on by default. It then becomes useless because it doesn't carry the weight of the user choice behind it. So advertisers have their excuse to ignore it, because it's not the users choice, it's Microsoft's choice. So Microsoft successfully defeats this, while claiming to be the good guy.

When if they actually wanted to be the good guy, they pop up one of those reminders in the title bar, "Do you want to tell websites not to track your visits by turning on the 'do not track' option?"

And then advertisers couldn't ignore it, and when they did (because they would), we'd be able to point to the millions of people using this option and thus it would be a popular move for politicians seeking election to enforce it.

Who uses ie? (1)

jimbolauski (882977) | more than 2 years ago | (#41547563)

Older people are the only ones that use ie, older people that advertisers do not target as much, largely because their spending habits are set, so this foe outrage seems suspicious. The only reason I can come up with as to why advertisers would publicly criticize Microsoft (please put on your tin foil hats) is that the new ie has a security hole that advertisers can use and are trying to get their target demographic to switch. Otherwise they are giving ie a boat load of good publicity that may steer people towards a product they don't want people to use.

Re:Who uses ie? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41547763)

40+% of the browsing world does, that's who.

Same lies as always (4, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 2 years ago | (#41547579)

Advertisers: This is not the "wrong choice for consumers." It's the right choice for PEOPLE. It just happens to be negative for advertisers who have grown fat and lazy using a medium that is nearly free and mostly paid for by the 'consumers.'

Screw you all. Respect the eyes of the people using the internet. I stopped watching TV because (1) they want me to pay for it and (2) I still get my intelligence assaulted with advertisements. I pay for internet but I can control who advertises as me and I will. I don't owe you a living at my expense. Take a page out of Google's playbook -- give us some actual value and give us a reason not to block you sorry asses.

So advertisers go out there not saying what they mean, once again. Why can't they just speak the truth?! "It hurts our marketing value." Tough shit. BUILD your market and stop riding on the coat tails of other people creating their markets.

K, that's the corporations spoken for ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41547591)

Do any of the American slashdotters know what consumer organisations have said? Do you people have consumer organisations?

Adblocker and DNT...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41547593)

Using Adblocker, do I need to activate DNT?

Bizarro world? (2)

Evro (18923) | more than 2 years ago | (#41547599)

How is there opposition to this? Shouldn't "don't track me" be the default for all browsers? How is the FTC against this? Chamber of Commerce I could see... but the FTC is supposed to protect consumers, no? Personally, I think the setting should be inverted to a checkbox that says "Allow advertisers to track my online activities," with it unchecked by default, and inviting people to check it if they want. Let's see how far THAT gets. Stupid.

I guess it's like the logic that US food sellers use to prevent "country of origin" information from being included on meat and other food products. If a pack of chicken breasts was labeled "grown in China" Americans wouldn't eat it, so they leave that information out, even though it's pretty important.

In summary: profit.

ha (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41547603)

'harm to consumers" ha

Oh man, I am torn on this issue. (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 2 years ago | (#41547619)

I couldn't be more torn if was asked to vote AGAINST children being allowed to play outside BUT the person telling me to let the kids play outside had his pants around his ankles. And the child is a nazi.

I mean, who do I root for? The advertisers? Microsoft? IE users? People who don't know how to install ghostery and ad-block?

Can't we mandate that when forced to choose between two evils, we get another option, KILL THEM ALL!

Who cares... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41547623)

Oh well Microsoft doesn't keep to the spec, but who does?
I have seen many specs for differing protocols and have even seen open source projects being non-compliant.
The whole HTML/CSS spec circus is the most public of them and there are many players doing their own "interpretations".

This DNT seems like such a minor one. If a user wants to be tracked they can just turn it on.
But I have never heard of anybody wanting to be personally tracked, though I have seen many powerful corporations and governments wanting to track others.

A bit strange for a corporation to not tow the same "track the populace" line though... maybe M$ is doing this to get an extortion kickback to reverse their decision?

my 2c.

Everyone is playing into Microsoft's hand (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41547639)

By taking this stand which sounds like they are on the side of privacy, but what they really want to do is stop the DNT thing all together and Apache is falling for it by modifying their code to ignore the DNT header from IE, next step will be to ignore it altogether since IE has the major browser market share.

The problem with constant criticism of Microsoft (1)

concealment (2447304) | more than 2 years ago | (#41547659)

The user community tends to be very vocal in its criticism of Microsoft on all issues, which means that Redmond sees nothing unusual about a lot of people complaining here. Like the boy who cried wolf, if you constantly complain, all complaints get equal treatment. For a company that wants to get things done and not just quit because you object, that means they all get ignored.

DHS - Redmond Office (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41547675)

Everyone should know/believe by now: if you're FOR enhanced privacy, you're supporting the terrorists.

DHS will be visiting Redmond very soon to shut down that cleverly disguised Al-Qaeda campus.

PJK

Roy Fielding != The Apache Foundation (1)

terjeber (856226) | more than 2 years ago | (#41547693)

despite drawing the ire of corporate America, the Apache Software Foundation

This is not about the Apache Foundation. This is Roy Fielding off his medication, insisting that Microsoft has violated the standard. The question here is whether Microsoft asks the user if the user wants DNT enabled or not. According to RF, Microsoft does not. He is wrong. They do when you install Windows 8. This has been thoroughly documented.

Sadly Fielding's patch not only circumvents the standard (so it is Apache circumventing the standard, not Microsoft), it also makes a patched Apache liable for legal action in Europe. Anyone using Apache in Europe with Fielding's patch enabled have made them selves open to legal action by any European user of that website.

Fielding is simply wrong here, he needs to admit it and his commit privileges needs to be revoked. Simple!

false dichotomy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41547721)

"Microsoft is making the wrong choice for consumers."

I have it on good authority that not everyone on the Internet is there to mindlessly "consume".

Some of us just like to, you know, do something useful with our lives.

repeating the reaction to XP SP2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41547747)

The public criticism sounds about the same as when Microsoft included the windows firewall (enabled by default)... "OMG, now I won't be able to just [insert whatever here] without the users' explicit permission"... and it was a massive improvement for vulnerabilities.

adblock. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41547751)

ADBLOCK PLUS. This is a mandatory addon to browse the web.

Here's a thought experiment (3, Interesting)

jimicus (737525) | more than 2 years ago | (#41547797)

Just a thought - and I appreciate it's probably giving far too much credit to Microsoft for joined-up thinking.

But it occurs to me that Microsoft own Bing, which (like any search engine) is paid for through advertising. And if the advertising can be tightly targeted, it's possible to charge a lot more for it. It follows that at least one business unit within Microsoft wants Do Not Track to be a complete disaster.

However, the days when Microsoft could simply not bother to implement something - or implement it so badly as to make it pointless - are over. Particularly as regards web-based technologies.

So, how to deal with this? Do Not Track is based on an honour system that was only ever going to work if a relatively small percentage of people took advantage of it. By making it a default, that honour system breaks down almost immediately. I honestly can't see very many businesses even bothering to install such a function, much less enable it.

The beauty of doing it this way is it gives Microsoft the opportunity to kill Do Not Track while at the same time getting positive publicity from tech-illiterate journalists for being "the only browser to ask websites to respect your publicity by default". Win-win.

M$ needs a good PR person (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41547839)

Maybe Microsoft should hire Machine Gun Kelly to tell them why this should be the default settings.

Too soon?

MS lost the advertising war? (0)

SpaghettiPattern (609814) | more than 2 years ago | (#41547845)

Has MS lost the advertising war on the playground? And does it now want to toss out all marbles so nobody can play any longer?

I don't oppose to being tracked by some firms, because I feel advertisement is needed to run services on the Internet. However, I want advertisement to be non-intrusive.

For once microsoft does something right... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41547853)

This one time microsoft does domething really in the interest of their users, and they get bashed....

Go away Advertisers.... (2)

realsilly (186931) | more than 2 years ago | (#41547857)

In the last 20 years Advertisers have been creeping further and further into our lives and we (the average citizen) have had little to no say in the matter, but now we are finally putting our foot down and declaring "No More". Ad Agencies are upset because of the loss to their cash intake, as well as they are like spoiled children who are being told "NO". They don't like it. The image that comes to mind is the picture of mom saying to her child, "no cookies", and the child stomps, pouts, cries, and has tantrums, and when none of that works, they devise a way to climb up to that upper cabinet to get the cookie jar.

It's time to get rid of all the cookies from the house so there is no demand for the cookie that doesn't exist.

Attention, Advertisers... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41547859)

Here's my perspective. I have no problem with ads or with people making money. What I have a HUGE problem with are two things: 1) Being tracked by advertisers and 2) Intrusive advertising.

1) What I do and where I go is none of your damn business and I will do everything in my power to prevent advertisers from knowing this; and I will NEVER purchase anything from an advertisement online because of this practice. Suck it, advertisers.

2) If your ad "features" an obnoxious monkey-hitting exercise or full motion video ad that starts playing as soon as the page loads, etc... then please say hello to Adblock/Noscript.

Just An Excuse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41547875)

The major advertising networks had no intention of obeying the DNT restrictions anyway. Of course, they couldn't outright go and say that; people are very uncomfortable with the idea of being tracked. That's why DNT was created in the first place. So rather, they are trying to discredit the entire notion. "Oh, DNT won't work because if it is default it won't mean anything". That way when they ignore it, it's not because it will affect their bottom line ("oh no, we always put our customers first!") but because it is a meaningless standard.

So it's all Microsoft's fault. Sure.

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