Default Do Not Track Is Best Choice for Internet Explorer 10 Users
NEWS ANALYSIS: Advertisers that are fighting Microsoft’s decision to set the Internet Explorer 10 browser setting by default to “Do Not Track” should understand that there’s a way to get their message out without intruding on users’ privacy.I discovered how sophisticated the practice of Web-based advertising is when I updated my Facebook page with a status report that mentioned by home state football team, the Green Bay Packers. Instantly, all the ads changed to ones for NFLGear.com, Packers fan sites and an invitation to friend Aaron Rodgers. Is this robust ecosystem in danger from “Do Not Track?” I think not. But that’s not how the advertising community sees it. News that Microsoft is going to select “Do Not Track” as the default browser setting in Internet Explorer 10, which rolls out with the Windows 8 operating system, has been greeted with alarm. “Microsoft’s action is wrong. The entire media ecosystem has condemned this action,” read part of a letter to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer from the Association of National Advertisers. “It is time to realign with the broader business community by providing choice through a default of ‘off’ on your browser’s ‘do not track’ setting.” (Full disclosure: eWEEK.com is an advertiser-supported Website so I am probably biting the hand that feeds me on this subject.)
Microsoft is so far sticking with its decision. After accommodating advertisers by making consumers work to activate Do Not Track, it has taken the opposite stance, opting for consumer privacy first. “It underscores that the privacy of our customers is a top priority for Microsoft,” wrote Brandon Lynch, chief privacy officer for Microsoft, in a blog post.