Print 20 comment(s) - last by NellyFromMA.. on Jun 6 at 4:19 PM

Microsoft says DNT tech on by default is a milestone

Microsoft announced yesterday that Windows 8 had reached Release Preview. Microsoft also said that Internet Explorer 10 in Windows 8 would run Do Not Track (DNT) by default. That Do Not Track technology allows users to surf the web without worrying that ads will track where they go after they leave that site.
Microsoft calls running the DNT technology on by default a milestone the effort to advance trust and privacy online. IE 10 will be the first browser with DNT on by default. Internet surfers, however, will be able to turn off the DNT technology if they want.
Microsoft says the idea for its DNT technology was in part from the FTC report issued in December 2010 that called on technology and advertising companies to create a comprehensive consumer choice mechanism for online behavioral advertisement targeting.

Microsoft subsequently added DNT technology to Internet Explorer 9 in February 2011.
Microsoft does note that in addition to the DNT technology for IE 10, the browser will also have the Tracking Protection Lists capability featured in IE 9. Microsoft also notes that having a browser that supports DNT is only part of protecting consumers. Websites also need a common understanding of what the consumer wants when the site detects the browser DNT signal.
According to the software giant, as of now there is no agreed definition of how to respond to a DNT signal sent from a browser. Microsoft plans to help push for an agreed definition in the industry by using its position in the advertising industry and software industry to push for clear definition of to respond to a DNT signal.
Microsoft also notes that its own advertising arm intends to treat a DNT signal as an opt-out of behavioral advertising. Oddly, Microsoft's advertising does not currently respond to a DNT signal, but the company says it is actively working with other advertising industry leaders on an implementation plan. 

Source: Microsoft

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Good, but...
By NellyFromMA on 6/1/2012 11:33:30 AM , Rating: 3
Ultimately, I'm pretty sure websites have to know how to disable their tracking by reading this tag in the request and there is no real way to force that to happen.

This is a good step, but it requires the entity actually tracking you to care about your privacy to begin with.

Unless I'm mistaken, anyways.

RE: Good, but...
By Motoman on 6/1/2012 12:59:11 PM , Rating: 2
You are mistaken, in that the typical method of tracking is done by websites placing "cookies" in your browser to keep track of what you've been doing. Allowing or disallowing cookies has always been a browser function.

Having said that, I would imagine that web companies can just come up with a different way to track people...

...for example, how hard would it be to do a cookie thing on their side, maybe store a cookie in a database by IP address or something. Sure...IP addresses aren't exactly precise...but it'd probably work a lot of the time.

RE: Good, but...
By WalksTheWalk on 6/1/2012 5:49:20 PM , Rating: 5
This Do Not Track stuff is getting out of hand. If they are truly concerned about not tracking users habits, they will also need out outlaw tracking for everything else.

Let's see what's being tracked:
TV habits (cable TV companies, Tivo, etc.)
Shopping habits (many stores, credit card companies)
Eating habits (grocery stores and restaurants)
Location (cell phone companies, smartphones, credit card companies, etc.)
Work habits (employer)

There was an article a while back reporting Target can tell when a pregnant woman enters her third trimester just through what she purchases so they can send coupons.

Face it, you are being tracked virtually all of the time unless you're completely off the grid.

RE: Good, but...
By Motoman on 6/2/2012 9:43:06 AM , Rating: 1
Yes, but you can avoid:

TV - Only use OTA and rent movies at a kiosk

Shopping - buy things with cash

Eating - buy things with cash

Location - you can turn off GPS tracking on your phone. Don't have to use a CC (use cash) etc.

Work habits - Well, unless you're self-employed (which avoids the issue all together), an employer must always have the right to pay attention to what his employees are doing. Kind of how it needs to work.

And yes, if you're not a dimwit and you want to be untracked on the internet, you can disable cookies in your browser. As we are all aware, the average person in this world is far too daft to be able to do such things.

All in all, just disabling cookies by default shouldn't be this big of a deal. But it is...because people are stupid.

RE: Good, but...
By mcnabney on 6/4/2012 9:31:32 AM , Rating: 2
Those kiosks track you too, since they only take credit cards.

Also, your phone company has a pretty good idea where you are at all times. While using GPS provides a precise location, the wireless carrier's towers can determine(and always record) your position by triangulation.

And websites can track you easily without cookies. Unless you are into spoofing your IP and MAC address.

RE: Good, but...
By Jedi2155 on 6/4/2012 6:17:50 PM , Rating: 2
Visa Gift cards >-D.

RE: Good, but...
By NellyFromMA on 6/6/2012 4:19:31 PM , Rating: 2
It's a little more than that though. Some websites depend on cookies in order to function properly.

And you are right about cookies being used to track users while not on their website (and potentially also while they are on) but it is not the sole means.

Just about every website worth anything keeps track of its users usage stats; the main thing here being that the activity is specific to what went on on their website.

The Do Not Track tag is supposed to be used by the website to observe and then shut off its tracking capability. That's my understanding of that anyways.

RE: Good, but...
By michael67 on 6/3/2012 4:54:37 PM , Rating: 2
Actually i think this is one of MS dumbest moves again!

I its on by default, advertizing companies can claim foul.

If MS had made a well informed track or not track option on first run of IE 10 it would have bin mouths better.
The information on the pro's and con's explanation, the con's written by MS, and the pro's by the advertizing industry, and both approved by both party's.

Then if advertizing companies ignore the "Do Not Track", they have no moral argument that they ignored it, because Windows 8 had "Do Not Track" Turned on by Default.

How hard can it to click on yes or no, to turn on/off the "Do Not Track" flag. 0_o

RE: Good, but...
By ritualm on 6/4/2012 11:19:27 PM , Rating: 2
They are already claiming foul. The stance of advertising companies is that DNT should be optional, not mandatory, so that they can still stalk you. With its mandatory DNT implementation, Microsoft gave those companies i.e. Google the big fat middle Ballmer finger.

MS is dumb? You have obviously never seen how stupid an average PC user can be. Leave a USB flash drive - loaded with malware - in the middle of the road and someone will pick it up and use it. Then watch them complain why they're getting spammed with penis enlargement messages from some bot server in Croatia every time they tap the "Enter" key.

If ad companies get their way, enabling DNT will be so cumbersome it makes more sense to leave it off.

Fun fact: Blu-Ray is one of the most consumer-unfriendly technologies in sorta-widespread use. Its value proposition is a net negative unless you are a Hollywood exec.

Now if only they had
By Breathless on 6/1/2012 11:33:57 AM , Rating: 5
DNM (Do Not Metro) turned on by default

RE: Now if only they had
By Motoman on 6/1/2012 1:28:02 PM , Rating: 4
...if it isn't I can guarantee you that DNB will be on. Do Not Buy.

RE: Now if only they had
By xthetenth on 6/5/2012 7:57:59 AM , Rating: 2
Metro as anything other than a set of UI design principles is something you have to use an app for. I've been using 8 exclusively since the preview came out, and the start screen is the only metro bit I come into contact with, and it's far more useful than the start menu. Instead of six pinned icons that somehow manage to never have what I want I have about 50 and it's as fast if not faster to find and click the latter if I use the win key. It really is just the start menu made useful by taking advantage of the whole screen.

By bug77 on 6/1/2012 11:49:35 AM , Rating: 2
IE10 will have DNT turned on by default, not Win8.
Considering Windows' history of tightly integrating various parts of the OS, I think that's a pretty big difference. Initially I thought in Win8, there are other parts of the OS that may accept cookies.

RE: Misleading
By maugrimtr on 6/5/2012 8:52:27 AM , Rating: 2
I really wish these articles explained DNT better. DNT is a HTTP Header (a line of text included in requests sent by all browsers with DNT turned on). Advertising networks can voluntarily (i.e. it's NOT compulsory) then disable tracking you whether it be by cookies or various other means.

The current agreement between browsers and advertisers is that advertisers will respect the DNT setting if setting the DNT header on is OPT-IN, i.e. users explicitly set it on themselves and browsers default to having DNT disabled.

IE10 has breached that agreement.

Since IE10 will breach the agreement, advertisers are no longer obliged to respect the DNT header. At present, they are discussing this with Microsoft and probably threatening to can the entire system and make sure everyone knows that it's Microsoft's fault.

Why? Microsoft are squandering the goodwill browsers have built up, the work by US authorities and various consumer groups to ensure DNT works and is acceptable to advertisers. All to gain a little bit of marketing that makes IE10 look like a pro-user browser you should use and trust.

Even if dropping a nuclear bomb on DNT does the exact opposite and set the entire industry progress on this back by years.

Everything to do with Google
By aurareturn on 6/1/2012 2:06:53 PM , Rating: 2
This has everything to do with Google - the online advertising monopoly. It's a huge slap in the face of Google which depends on tracking to improve their click through rate of their ads.

If Google can't track what you are doing online, then their ads are far less effective and their revenue/publishers will suffer.

By mindless1 on 6/3/2012 1:47:54 PM , Rating: 2
Not necessarily. While Google may not know with precision the name of someone behind a particlar IP #, they need no cookie to build up a profile based on the times, types of sites and particular page you visit - they are pulling files from Google for not just advertising but tracking, google has your IP as pulling things from them and is running scripts too.

On THIS DT page you are reading, you may be running

Windows 8 by Taurus229 on June 1, 2012
By Taurus229 on 6/1/2012 9:45:48 PM , Rating: 2
Microsoft has annoyed its users one more time! It is acting like a big woos taking the much adored start button away.

By superstition on 6/1/2012 11:07:48 PM , Rating: 1
Yeah, it was the easiest place to find the most important feature in Windows: shut down.

Experimental release
By herpderp555 on 6/1/2012 10:15:52 PM , Rating: 2
Windows 8 is simply going to be another one of Microsoft's test operating systems that you're supposed to skip, kind of like Windows ME or Vista.

As for this "Do Not Track", I couldn't care less as IE still remains a proprietary internet browser, and is therefore less "free" than open source alternatives like Firefox or Chromium. This DNT feature could simply be some check box that does f*** all.

By rbuszka on 6/4/2012 3:05:02 PM , Rating: 2
This news story is proof that "Do Not Track" will be meaningless, and will not stop anybody from tracking anybody else. If it's enabled by default on Windows devices, that will simply be more encouragement for online advertisers to render it ineffective by circumventing or ignoring it entirely.

Even if Do Not Track receives the force of law, the law itself will most likely be rendered toothless by entrenched lobbying interests that can already ghostwrite custom-tailored bills like SOPA, PIPA, and CISPA . I'm sure if these same ad-supported media entities were actually proposing "Do Not Track" in the first place, for the purpose of maintaining a controllable legal ecosystem for themselves through passage of the bill, they'd still be hailed as heroes (!) of privacy civil liberties by the media even as they safeguarded their own ends.

The only true response to invasive online tracking and marketing efforts is to vote with your feet (or your mouse) and prefer in-person, brick-and-mortar transactions, in cash or hard currency, and consider the extra amount you might possibly spend in doing so to be the price paid for the luxury of a private lifestyle.

"This week I got an iPhone. This weekend I got four chargers so I can keep it charged everywhere I go and a land line so I can actually make phone calls." -- Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg
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