Home > Online Privacy, Privacy > “Do Not Track” Not So Good After All?

“Do Not Track” Not So Good After All?

Source: Slashgear

The “Do Not Track” header in websites is a feature that states if a user wishes to be tracked by websites (mainly for advertising purposes through cookies) or not. However, it is optional for the websites if they respect the user’s decision or not. Today, most browsers support this feature (the Chrome browser will support it by the end of 2012), Microsoft recently even announced that it will be turned on by default in IE10. From a privacy perspective this is a very welcome development, which gives power back to the users. However, two recent articles focused on the economical implications of restricting technology that funds big parts of our (free) Internet as we know it. Without ads, websites such as Google or Facebook would have a hard time financing themselves. In Technology Review, Antonio Regalado asks if this feature will kill off innovation in online advertisement, with serious implications for the $40B online ad industry and as such for us as users as well.

Another reason I find the article quite interesting is that it points out the positive sides of tracking the user to deliver highly targeted ads. You might even get relevant information out of ads instead of useless spam.

In order to better understand online tracking I highly recommend the guide from the Guardian. Also check out their nice graph about the biggest advertising companies and websites that use them.

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