Yahoo To Honor Do-Not-Track Headers


Yahoo has joined the ranks of companies that have promised to honor browser-based do-not-track headings.

The company said that it will stop sending customized ads and content to consumers that activate browser-based do-not-track headings. Yahoo also will cease creating marketing profiles of those users, Shane Wiley, Yahoo's vice president for privacy, added in a blog post.

Yahoo intends to stop targeting users who activate do-not-track when it acts as a first-party publisher, as well as in its capacity as a third-party ad network -- which occurs when its ad companies Right Media and Interclick encounter consumers on other publishers' sites.

A company rep said that Yahoo will continue to collect some data about consumers who have activated do-not-track -- although the type of information could depend on whether the company is appearing as a first-party or third-party.

When Yahoo is acting as a third party, it won't collect information used for analytics from consumers who have opted out via do-not-track. But it will continue to collect information for "operational" purposes like fraud prevention.

Yahoo says it has already started rolling out the new policy and expects to fully implement it by this summer. The Web giant's announcement comes the same week as the Federal Trade Commission released its final privacy report, which calls on ad networks to honor do-not-track requests.

In the last year, Mozilla, Microsoft and other developers have started adding do-not-track settings to their browsers. Consumers can activate those settings to communicate that they don't wish to be tracked, but ad companies can choose whether to honor the requests.

Until recently, only a handful of ad companies had promised to respect do-not-track settings. But last month, the self-regulatory group Digital Advertising Alliance said it would require members to respect do-not-track headers.

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