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Yahoo! Privacy The Internet

Yahoo Stops Honoring 'Do-Not-Track' Settings 300

An anonymous reader writes "When web browsers started implementing 'do-not-track' settings, Yahoo got some respect for being the first of the huge tech companies to honor those settings. Unfortunately, that respect has now gone out the door. As of this week, Yahoo will no longer alter their data collection if a user doesn't want to be tracked. They say there are two reasons for this. First, they want to provide a personalized web-browsing experience, which isn't possible using do-not-track. Second, they don't think do-not-track is viable. They say, '[W]e'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.' It looks like this is another blow to privacy on the web."
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Yahoo Stops Honoring 'Do-Not-Track' Settings

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  • by joe_frisch ( 1366229 ) on Friday May 02, 2014 @11:41AM (#46899749)

    Google and Yahoo make money by selling information that they collect from users. Microsoft makes money by selling software. The typical person is a Microsoft customer, but a Google / Yahoo product.

  • by nmb3000 ( 741169 ) <nmb3000@that-google-mail-site.com> on Friday May 02, 2014 @11:51AM (#46899859) Journal

    Horrible decision, a standard isn't being honored ANYWHERE so you decide to undermine it entirely without replacement?


    The simple fact is that Do-Not-Track was a damned bogus idea from the outset. Saying to the massive web of advertising conglamorates and third parties -- all of which make more money the more they can identify you down to an individual -- "Won't you kindly not track me? That would just be great, thanks" is akin to asking the mob nicely not to burn your place down when you refuse to pay protection money, or calling up the NSA and asking them nicely to stop spying on your personal affairs.

    If you don't want to be tracked, you need to take steps to make it happen yourself. The tools are there -- use them. If enough people start blocking all forms of advertising, perhaps the intrusiveness and privacy violation will recede. Or maybe the entire advertising industry will collapse (one can always dream).

  • Re:My Standard (Score:3, Informative)

    by Maxo-Texas ( 864189 ) on Friday May 02, 2014 @11:55AM (#46899913)

    You also probably want Better privacy too. It gets rid of supercookies.

    Hopefully some more ideas will come out of this thread.

  • by drolli ( 522659 ) on Friday May 02, 2014 @12:01PM (#46899979) Journal

    Noscript, only per session cookies, and surfing trough a proxy.

  • Re:My Standard (Score:4, Informative)

    by geminidomino ( 614729 ) on Friday May 02, 2014 @01:17PM (#46900721) Journal

    Just a suggestion: Consider replacing Ghostery with Disconnect. Ghostery embraces the Dark Side [businessinsider.com]

  • by radarskiy ( 2874255 ) on Friday May 02, 2014 @01:19PM (#46900735)

    From http://tools.ietf.org/id/draft... [ietf.org]
    "5. Header Syntax

          The Do Not Track HTTP header, "DNT", must take one of two values: "1"
          ("opt out") or "0" ("opt in"). All other values are reserved. ...
    6.3. Default

          A user agent MAY adopt NO-EXPRESSED-PREFERENCE or OPT-OUT by default.
          It MUST NOT transmit OPT-IN without explicit user consent."

    The standard explicitly allows opt-out as a default

  • by Kinwolf ( 945345 ) on Friday May 02, 2014 @01:24PM (#46900775)
    Good day for the EFF to release the alpha of privacy badger that blocks tracking cookies http://www.pcworld.com/article... [pcworld.com] https://www.eff.org/privacybad... [eff.org]
  • by Somebody Is Using My ( 985418 ) on Friday May 02, 2014 @01:33PM (#46900859) Homepage

    "On by default" is not an entirely accurate description. When you first run a version of Internet Explorer that supports DNT (IE8), or Windows 7 or 8, you are presented with several configurable options, one of which asks if you want to allow tracking by advertisers. While the "yes" radio-button is pre-selected, users do have to actively accept this choice. It is not as if Microsoft invisibly enabled this feature without alerting the users.

    Admittedly, many users will just accept the defaults and press "OK", but they are still making that choice. Given the choice people generally do not like being tracked, and - although most people have been trained to just press OK - were they properly educated about the issue most would likely enable DNT anyway. Moreso, few people complain that Microsoft also includes software to avoid phishing sites (e.g., SmartScreen) which are enabled by "default" similar to DNT; these capabilities are added because the end-users find them useful. Microsoft is just protecting users from skeevy internet marketing, and just because some firms depend on this sort of underhanded tracking in no way excuses them from their deceitful practices. Features like "Do Not Track" were created because advertisers pushed too hard in one direction; now they ignore user's attempts to bring balance to the equation. I have no sympathy for the Googles and Yahoos and Facebooks; they broke the social contract first.

  • by AC-x ( 735297 ) on Friday May 02, 2014 @02:01PM (#46901107)

    Microsoft is losing the battle for online advertising, so they are instead trying to poison the market. In MSIE 10 and 11, the "do not track" is on by default, which means the user never actually made a decision to set it

    It's on by default, but it is also part of the setup questionnaire when you first start up Windows 8 so it's not like the user isn't presented with the choice...

You are always doing something marginal when the boss drops by your desk.