According to Ed Bott at ZDNet, the Do Not Track feature found in browsers -- a "tiny snippet of information in its header" which indicates that "the owner of that user-agent has expressed a desire that his or her online movements not be tracked" -- does not actually work.
Reportedly, as the feature "requires good faith cooperation from the parties at the other end of the web connection" for it to work, it should come to no surprise that they are, instead "actively subverting the intent of DNT."
As a consumer, youd think that the meaning of Do Not Track is pretty clear. Youre making a polite request of the web sites and advertisers: Dont collect and store any information about me without my explicit permission.
And yet, according to Sarah Downey, an attorney and privacy advocate who works for the online-privacy firm Abine, thats not whats happening.
Two big associations, the Interactive Advertising Bureau and the Digital Advertising Alliance, represent 90% of advertisers. Downey says those big groups have devised their own interpretation of Do Not Track. When the servers controlled by those big companies encounter a DNT=1 header, says Downey, "They have said they will stop serving targeted ads but will still collect and store and monetize data.
Thats a perverse interpretation, and certainly isnt what an ordinary consumer would expect. Indeed, some giant web properties have been more faithful to the spirit of the standard.
|“In another context, this could be read as something akin to torture or brainwashing. For Facebook, it was just business as usual.”|
|#ACTA Makes #SOPA Look Like Child's Play|
|"[A website's] 'fold' simply does not exist."|
|Should You Respond To Every Email? No. In Fact, Just Use the Phone|
|RT @OpenAttitude: Why Facebook Sucks (For All of Us)|
|"Free apps make money by selling your personal data."|
|CaptchaTweet: Write Tweets in Captcha Form|
|“We’ve received requests to add some artificial noise to the buses so that people can hear them.”|
|“A novel experiment by a government to work with journalists and educators to combat the spread of online misinformation.”|
|How to Avoid Jury Duty|
|The (Very Scary) People of Public Transit|
|The Festive Funk Machine: Click to Make Your Own Festive Music|
|“Both spacecraft are still operational when they reached interstellar space.”|
|“Initial riders may be more comfortable getting into a car with a human in the driver seat.”|
|“Can you replace the spring of a pogo stick with repelling magnets?”|