Microsoft’s decision to turn on Do Not Track by default in the next Internet Explorer — without users making their own choices — prompts Yahoo to ignore it.
Yahoo will ignore “Do Not Track” requests from Internet Explorer 10 because, it claims, Microsoft is violating the concept’s intent by turning it on by default.
Today’s announcement reignites a conflagration that started with Microsoft’s announcement in May, and became even more incendiary earlier this month when the Digital Advertising Alliance said advertising companies that choose to ignore Do Not Track requests “automatically set in IE10 or any other browser” would not be penalized.
Yahoo said a blog post this afternoon that the choice to enable Do Not Track should be made by the user, not the browser maker:
Recently, Microsoft unilaterally decided to turn on DNT in Internet Explorer 10 by default, rather than at users’ direction. In our view, this degrades the experience for the majority of users and makes it hard to deliver on our value proposition to them. It basically means that the DNT signal from IE10 doesn’t express user intent… We will not recognize IE10′s default DNT signal on Yahoo! properties at this time.
Apache, which provides server software used to run millions of Web sites, also said last month that it will ignore Microsoft’s decision.
In August, Microsoft chief privacy officer Brendon Lynch reiterated the software maker’s decision to turn DNT on by default. “This approach is consistent with Microsoft’s goal of designing and configuring IE features to better protect user privacy, while also affording customers control of those features,” he said.