IAB: One In Five Users Send Do-Not-Track Request

Around one in five Web users now send a do-not-track request when they surf the Internet, according to Interactive Advertising Bureau general counsel Mike Zaneis. He adds that the IAB expects that proportion to increase to 50%.

Zaneis says that the high numbers of people with active do-not-track signals means that “it is no longer tenable” for the ad industry to allow consumers to opt out of online behavioral advertising by setting a do-not-track signal. Instead, the ad industry appears to be proposing to “de-link” or “de-identify” data about users who activate do-not-track headers. Such measures potentially could make it harder to determine people's names based solely on data about the Web sites they visit, but that depends on the methods used to “de-identify” the data.

Zaneis made the remarks on Wednesday, at a telephone meeting of the World Wide Web Consortium’s tracking protection group. The transcript reads as follows:

“My members seeing 20-25% of user base sending flag. Early on, our position had been: perhaps the W3C could standardize the DNT signal, and we would treat that as an industry opt-out.... That is no longer tenable.... We expect DNT:1 signals to approach 50% in short-term.”

The World Wide Web Consortium's tracking protection group -- made up of computer scientists , industry representatives and privacy advocates -- has spent two years trying to develop standards to interpret do-not-track commands in browsers. Currently, all of the major browser companies offer a do-not-track header. When activated, the header tells publishers and ad networks that users don't want to be tracked. But the header doesn't actually prevent tracking; instead, it's up to ad networks or publishers to decide whether to honor the header.

Last year, the umbrella group Digital Advertising Alliance said that it would honor do-not-track headers, provided that they were set by individuals and not turned on by default. At the time, observers interpreted this statement to mean that the ad industry would let consumers opt out of online behavioral advertising -- or receiving ads because they had visited particular sites in the past -- by setting a do-not-track header. Currently, the industry takes the position that consumers who want to opt out of behavioral advertising should click on a link that sets an opt-out cookie. But privacy advocates say that method is problematic, given that many consumers periodically delete their cookies. Privacy advocates also say that the ad industry should do more than just stop serving targeted ads to people who don't want to be tracked: The advocates say that ad companies should stop collecting data about those people.

Recommend (3) Print RSS
  • White House To Unveil Privacy 'Bill Of Rights'

    The White House will unveil a proposed privacy “bill of rights” by the end of next month, President Obama said on Monday. The measure will set out “basic baseline protections across industries,” Obama said. He signaled that the bill will limit companies' ability to collect data from consumers without their consent. ...
  • BabyBus Suspended From Google Play After FTC Warns Of Children's Privacy Violations

    The popular BabyBus apps appear to violate children's privacy laws, the Federal Trade Commission warns in a letter to the Chinese-based developer of the apps. “Several of your apps appear to collect precise geolocation information that is transmitted to third parties, including advertising networks and/or analytics companies,” Maneesha Mithal, associate ...
  • Judge Pauses Dispute Between Google And Miss. AG

    Google won't have to face any potential lawsuits by Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood until at least next year, under an order issued on Monday by U.S. District Court Judge Henry Wingate in Jackson, Miss. Wingate said in the order that he was pausing all proceedings in the dispute between ...
  • Mississippi Attorney General Seeks Temporary Truce With Google

    Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood said on Friday that he wants to pause an escalating dispute with Google regarding the company's search results. “I am calling a time out, so that cooler heads may prevail,” he said in a statement issued on Friday. Hood's statement came several hours after Google ...
  • Google Seeks Restraining Order Against Mississippi Attorney General

    Google on Friday asked a federal judge to prohibit Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood from following through on a threat to sue the company for enabling Web users to access “illegal” content. Google also is asking for an injunction prohibiting Hood from enforcing a subpoena demanding information relating to outside ...
  • Deutsch L.A. Settles FTC Charges That Employees Posed As Consumers On Twitter

    Deutsch L.A. engaged in a deceptive practice with an ad campaign that involved asking employees to promote Sony's PlayStation Vita on Twitter, the Federal Trade Commission alleged in a complaint unveiled on Tuesday. The resulting Twitter posts, which ran in 2012 and carried the hashtag #gamechanger, allegedly didn't indicate they ...
  • Aereo Declares Bankruptcy

    Online video distributor Aereo, which suspended operations three days after its Supreme Court defeat in June, said on Friday that it filed for bankrputcy. CEO Chet Kanojia says in a post on the company's blog that the move “will permit Aereo to maximize the value of its business and assets ...
  • Tom Noble Moves From BMW Australia To Oversee Mini U.S.A. Marketing .

    Mini U.S.A. has tapped Tom Noble, a marketer at BMW Australia, as department head, Mini Brand Communications. Noble, who will handle all brand positioning duties for Mini in the U.S. at the company's U.S. headquarters in Woodcliff Lake, N.J., replaces Tom Salkowsky, who was shifted overseas to be department head, ...
  • Sources: Steve Shannon Out As Top Hyundai Motor America Marketer

    Sources close to the company say Steve Shannon, VP marketing, is departing Hyundai Motor America. No confirmation from HMA or Shannon just yet. The General Motors alumnus, who tied up his 25 years at GM as marketing chief at Cadillac, was hired by the Orange Country, CA-based marketer in 2011. ...
  • Appeals Court To Reconsider 'Innocence Of Muslims' Takedown Order

    The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals said today that it will reconsider whether to order Google to remove the clip 'Innoncence of Muslims' from YouTube. The court also said that the original opinion in the case, issued in February by a three-judge, won't serve as precedent within the 9th Circuit. ...
>> Raw Archives