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AP Adopts Firefox's 'Do Not Track'; Others On the Way 80

Posted by timothy
from the stop-staring-at-my-body dept.
theweatherelectric writes "As noted by the Mozilla Blog, the AP News Registry is the first large scale service to support the Do Not Track (DNT) feature of Firefox 4 and Internet Explorer 9. They write, 'The Associated Press (AP) is the first company to deploy DNT on a large scale, and it only took a few hours for one engineer to implement. The AP News Registry tracks 1 billion impressions of news content, with 175 million unique visitors per month, and has membership with more than 800 sites. When consumers send a DNT preference via the browser while viewing a story at one of its publisher's sites, the AP News Registry no longer sets any cookies. The previous solution was for users to opt-out via a link to a central opt-out page referenced in each participating news site's privacy policy. They still count the total number of impressions for each news story, but aggregate consumer data for those with DNT in a non-identifiable way.'"
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AP Adopts Firefox's 'Do Not Track'; Others On the Way

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  • Re:Non-identifiable? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mcmonkey (96054) on Thursday March 31, 2011 @04:14PM (#35682086) Homepage

    Well, how does it work?

    You visit site, the server checks your DNT flag before sending a cookie...and then what?

    I'm guess the server records GameBoyRMH visited site xyz.com, but no cookie was set. And whenever you visit one of those 800 sites, they know it's you, because they have to check for your DNT flag.

    So you've preserved the 100-or-so bytes the cookie would take on your drive, but how is that not tracking?

    It seems to me a real DNT track system would be client-side only, and the setting would instruct the browser to accept and instantly (or after the session) delete the cookie, without giving any indication of the activity to the server.

  • Stupid Idea (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 31, 2011 @04:26PM (#35682242)

    To start with, they should rather strip all the unnecessary, incredibly detailed version information [eff.org] off the default user-agent string. Relying on the "goodwill" of ad companies is just absurd.

    Oh and, as soon as this Do-Not-Track header becomes a default setting it will be ignored anyway...

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