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Yahoo to ignore Microsoft's 'Do Not Track' signal from IE10

Gregg Keizer | Oct. 30, 2012
Yahoo will ignore "Do Not Track" privacy requests sent by Microsoft's Internet Explorer 10 browser, calling its ally's unilateral decision "signal abuse" and pointing to a possible rift between the search partners.

He predicted that Yahoo would get more attention, virtually all negative, for ignoring IE10's DNT preference than it had when it announced last March that it would support the standard.

And there will be more tussling, not less, over DNT as time goes by, both Brookman and Olds forecast.

"The most interesting question in all this is how Microsoft responds to companies that reject their DNT instructions," said Brookman. "They can't just sit back and let their users' privacy settings be ignored -- they would lose credibility with their customer base."

"This topic is not going to go away," Olds prognosticated. "As tracking becomes even more sophisticated, it will be a much bigger issue as advertisers use big data along with other information they've gleaned on you. It's going to really start crossing the creepy threshold."

Brookman sees the possibility of a full-fledged war between browser vendors and online advertisers if Microsoft responds by, for instance, blocking ads from domains that don't honor its IE10 signal.

"DNT was really designed to prevent this sort of user-browser-advertiser war ... but I know most of the browser makers are getting increasingly skeptical about how ad networks are going to honor the signal," said Brookman. "Escalated warfare may be inevitable."

Microsoft did not respond to a request for comment on Yahoo's announcement.



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