Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) recently stopped supporting the ‘Do Not Track’ privacy settings. This means users can easily be tracked whether or not their browser settings have ‘Do Not Track’ requested.
Yahoo alerts users of changes
Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) alerted the site’s users of the change in a recent blog post, which summed it up “As of today, web browser Do Not Track settings will no longer be enabled on Yahoo. As the first major tech company to implement Do Not Track, we’ve been at the heart of conversations surrounding how to develop the most user-friendly standard. However, we have yet to see a single standard emerge that is effective, easy to use and has been adopted by the broader tech industry. Users can still manage their privacy on Yahoo while benefiting from a personalized web experience. We encourage our users to tailor their online experience through the variety of privacy tools we offer within our own platform, accessible via our Yahoo Privacy Center.”
Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) also operates a similar feature. There are few websites that don’t track users, Pinterest and Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) are two examples of such websites.
DNT rules are not mandatory
‘Do Not Track’ is essentially an HTTP privacy setting that tells advertisers and browsers whether the user wants to be tracked or not. By default, this setting is off. Users who want protection must opt-in via the browser.
It is important to point out that ‘Do Not Track’ is really more of a suggestion rather than a guarantee. Advertisers are not forced to honor the request. Forrester risk principal security and risk analyst Andrew Rose elaborated, “DNT is, at best, a polite request from the browser that the host site pay no attention to them and kindly forget them once they leave. Laudable as this is, the browser has zero ability to ensure that this happens.”