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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.


"There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer

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