Microsoft and Google play chicken over Do Not Track
Posted by Rant4u
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Microsoft and Google are playing a high-stakes game of chicken over the controversial practice of advertisers following online users’ footsteps across the Internet.
The battle is over how to implement “Do Not Track,” a soon-to-be-released Web browser button that opts a user out of data collection on websites across all participating advertising networks.
After many years of skirmishes and compromises, Do Not Track appeared to have a quorum behind it. The proposal is currently backed by all the major browser makers, the Obama administration, and roughly 90% of the country’s advertising networks and publishers, including Google (GOOG, Fortune 500), Yahoo (YHOO, Fortune 500) and AOL (AOL).
Here’s where it gets sticky: Microsoft (MSFT, Fortune 500) announced last week that it would become the first browser maker to turn Do No Track on as the default setting in its upcoming version of Internet Explorer, called IE10.
That flew in the face of a carefully constructed and fragile compromise between privacy advocates and the online advertising networks.
Though privacy advocates believe that users would be best served by automatically opting them in to Do Not Track, the advertisers have said they would only agree to Do Not Track if the default setting is “off.”
On Wednesday, a working group at the standards-setting World Wide Web Consortium affirmed its previously held agreement that Do Not Track should only be turned on if a user deliberately decides to do so. Read More
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