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Think Tank's Website Rejects Browser Do-Not-Track Requests 362

Posted by timothy
from the at-least-the're-telling-you dept.
alphadogg writes "The website for the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) now tells visitors it will not honor their browsers' do-not-track requests as a form of protest against the technology pushed by privacy groups and parts of the U.S. government. The tech-focused think tank on Friday implemented a new website feature that detects whether visitors have do-not-track features enabled in their browsers and tells them their request has been denied. 'Do Not Track is a detrimental policy that undermines the economic foundation of the Internet,' Daniel Castro, senior analyst at the ITIF wrote in a blog post. 'Advertising revenue supports most of the free content, services, and apps available on the Internet.'"
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Think Tank's Website Rejects Browser Do-Not-Track Requests

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  • Well damn (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 30, 2012 @10:39AM (#41506023)

    Here I thought awesome people were responsible for most of the finest free offerings of the internet, turns out it was just penis enlargement all along.

    • Re:Well damn (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Seumas (6865) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @10:53AM (#41506115)

      Not any more. The same spirit that sysops built and maintained BBSes and the communities that formed around them in the 80s and 90s is what used to drive the web. That sense of fun, enjoyment, contribution, community, education. Where you paid for these things out of your pocket and put in the long hours setting everything up and keeping it running, because you enjoyed the experience and you enjoyed building something that people wanted to use.

      Today, every fucking two-bit mommy-blogger has to plaster ads all over their shitty little 5-hits-per-month blog, just to monetize every last possible fucking cent. Spend $5-$100/mo of your own money to fund your project/web-site/whatever? Crazy! Just throw up some ads so that your site looks like shit. And if you can't get rich doing it, fuck it and move on! It's not worth doing if you can't make five cents from it, even if the cost of making that nickel is molesting your site with obnoxious ads.

      I spent at least $25k over a period of a dozen years building and maintaining a community for about 100k people. I could have monetized it. I could have charged fees. Subscriptions. Or plastered it in ads. But I didn't. Zero ads. No fees. Even though my site allowed other people to make money and start businesses along the way. But I didn't. Why? Well, it never really even occurred to me. I did it because it was fun. Because I learned things from it. Because it was great to watch so many people form around something *I* did. And then to see it benefit their lives. To see people form friendships (even relationships) out of it. To see cons/gatherings form every year or two out of it. To see external sites around it spring up from other people.

      I could have made cash from it, but I didn't. I didn't need to. Not everything has to be done to get rich. Not every fucking inch and second of everything in life has to be done for a buck. And, frankly, fuck these guys for suggesting that it's the only way we get any content on the internet.

      • Re:Well damn (Score:5, Insightful)

        by SternisheFan (2529412) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @11:04AM (#41506165)
        Thank you for being such a moral person. The world and the internet itself needs more selfless types like yourself. It shouldn't always be about the money.
        • Re:Well damn (Score:5, Insightful)

          by 10101001 10101001 (732688) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @01:38PM (#41507161) Journal

          The world and the internet itself needs more selfless types like yourself. It shouldn't always be about the money.

          I wouldn't call the GP selfless. I don't say this because selfless is a dirty word or anything. However, it does seem to be considered a dirty word to point out the GP was pointing out, that not everything should be done for greed. It always causes a twinge of humor and sadness in my heart at how both pride [in one's work] and greed [in money] seem to be the foundation of the "Christian" nation of the US. Yet the obvious truth is it's not so black and while. It's not the choice of being selfish or selfless. There is a difference between putting a few, less obnoxious ads on a website that's heavily used to help fund it and layering on twenty ads on the 5 hits/month blog The only sad part, to me, is that the latter basically mandates ad blocking which hurts the former. That ITIF should basically flip the bird at DNT really misses a major point, I guess; it's not out of the question that in the future ad block software might give the option to only allow ads from those that *do* honor DNT. And if anything, that might well do more to "[support] most of the free content, services, and apps available on the Internet" than anything else.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by cheesybagel (670288)
          Papers used to make money with ads and they couldn't track users either. These people just want more money from each user which understandable. However the problem is this information can be used to do all sorts of user profiling not necessarily for marketing purposes.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        And because you didn't make cash and turn it into a going concern. It will dry up and go away just as soon as you lose interest. Let me ask you... Do you also reject street cleaning in your home town? Or are you out there every morning with a broom in the same spirit? Why should the Internet be any different? If somebody wants to try to make money, let them. And if somebody's annoying ads allow them to keep their blog going, then by all means that better than less information and less voice. High h

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by bmo (77928)

          And because you didn't make cash and turn it into a going concern. It will dry up and go away just as soon as you lose interest.

          And this is bad, how?

          YOUR high horse, get off it.

          --
          BMO

        • Re:Well damn (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 30, 2012 @12:58PM (#41506863)

          I will attempt to speak to the relevant portions of what appears to be your argument: Tracking and advertising are not the same thing. If I listen to the radio (traditional broadcast radio) I hear advertisements, but the radio station is not enabled to sell the information regarding the ads I have heard and found enticing. If they want to do that they have to employ some specific techniques that require both my consent and compliance. This caveat has not prevented radio stations from profiting via advertisement. Due to the idiosyncrasies of the internet the ability to sell information regarding the advertising likely to prove effective upon me does not require my consent or compliance. I reject the position that requiring my consent impedes the creation or distribution of content or the ability of said content creators or providers to profit via advertising. It does prevent data miners and brokers from profiting, but then they don't actually create content now do they?

          • by C0R1D4N (970153)
            I remarked back when the dot.com bubble burst (I wasn't the only one to make this observation) that if TV and Radio advertisers started demanding that people "click through" or even sit there and watch the ad rather than channel surf, go to the bathroom or grab a soda those industries would also collapse.
        • Entitlement (Score:5, Insightful)

          by fox171171 (1425329) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @02:27PM (#41507417)
          I think you each have valid views, but the issue as I see it, isn't quite what either of your points are about.

          It's the sense of entitlement.

          Some folks seem to think that because they create content, or enable others to create content, on the internet, that they are entitled to make money.

          (Sounds like some people from the music industry.)

          You can try to make money, or don't try to make money. But if you are trying, and fail, don't blame anyone else, and don't bitch and moan that we're a bunch of no-gooders ruining your fun because we don't want you looking over our shoulders and following us around recording what we do.

          Not sure who decided the internet population is there to provide income. It's not.

          I'm pretty sure if I was standing following one of these people around all day in 'the real world' taking video and notes of everything they did, they would be pretty upset. And when I said "You have to let me, I am making money doing this," I doubt that would make them okay with it.

          At least in the real world, when someone is peeking in your windows, or reading over your shoulder, sooner or later you'll notice them, and possibly have them charged. Why is it different on the internet? Because most people can't see you snooping around, it's okay?
        • Re:Well damn (Score:5, Insightful)

          by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @03:43PM (#41507879)

          If somebody wants to try to make money

          Not when it is at my expense, without my permission, and without providing a clear benefit to me. Tracking my browsing habits without first asking me? Spinning my CPU, eating up my bandwidth (and if I am on a cell connection, that is expensive ), and preventing me from reading the articles I wanted to read? If that is how you make money, then I will install ABP and deny you your money.

      • by Compaqt (1758360)

        First of, I'd like to thank you for whatever content you've put on the web. The old web. Best viewed with NCSA Mosaic.

        Anyway, I don't see how a non-commercial web has to exist only if the commercial web doesn't. .edu and (to a lesser extent .org), won't go away if .com is out there. Both can exist at the same time.

        And I don't think should try to use DNT to force .com to look like .edu. The fact is, it's not going to. It'll either go out of business, or it'll start charging for content, which means you won't

      • Re:Well damn (Score:5, Insightful)

        by SuperCharlie (1068072) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @01:17PM (#41506983)
        I did the same thing with a BBS back in the day. Not quite as large, kudos on that, but still all out of my pocket, all for free, all with no ads. Your post hits the nail on the head. I wish it could be modded higher than 5 as *this* is not only whats wrong with the internet but the monitizing of everything. Great post.
      • Re:Well damn (Score:5, Insightful)

        by jmerlin (1010641) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @01:37PM (#41507151)

        And, frankly, fuck these guys for suggesting that it's the only way we get any content on the internet.

        I agree. A "think tank" that can't think of a way to monetize content on the internet that doesn't invade peoples' privacy isn't much of a think tank, now is it?

      • Re:Well damn (Score:4, Insightful)

        by mwvdlee (775178) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @01:51PM (#41507245) Homepage

        Not any more. The same spirit that sysops built and maintained BBSes and the communities that formed around them in the 80s and 90s is what used to drive the web. That sense of fun, enjoyment, contribution, community, education. Where you paid for these things out of your pocket and put in the long hours setting everything up and keeping it running, because you enjoyed the experience and you enjoyed building something that people wanted to use.

        Those same types of sites are still out there on the web.

        If you don't visit them, you shouldn't complain about the sites you DO visit.

      • Re:Well damn (Score:4, Interesting)

        by fast turtle (1118037) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @02:39PM (#41507475) Journal

        Well I'm one of those mommy bloggers you so vehemently bitched about. The big thing is, I don't have the Discretionary funds to pay a host for my effin blog and that's why in hell I juse Live Journal. Decent trade-off to me. I get their free package, they gain a little more ad-revenue to cover my hosting costs

        In regards to Blogger and some of the other obnoxious sites. Hell yes, I actually agree with you that they need to die and it's why I refuse to visit most if not all blogs hosted by them leaches. Yes LJ does have ads but their simple enough to be unobtrusive to me and I don't block their ads in ghostery. I Do continue blocking flash/silverlight and god damn iframes with noscript though for general security reasons.

    • Re:Well damn (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jythie (914043) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @02:23PM (#41507407)
      And I guess pre-advertising boom internet just didn't exist or must have really sucked or something.

      The loops one must go through when they want to justify why everyone should bend to the model they want...
    • 'Do Not Track is a detrimental policy that undermines the economic foundation of the Internet,'

      Hmm... If I recall, the "foundation" of the Internet was research, education and communication, not profit. Anyway, I imagine we all can trim visiting the "Information Technology and Innovation Foundation" website off our bucket list and nothing of value will have been lost - to anyone...

  • Return bogus data (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Can't the browser just give bogus data on request?

  • That's fine (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 30, 2012 @10:41AM (#41506039)

    I'll just keep using AdBlock Plus, NoScript, etc. and they won't get me to see any ads at all. If on the other hand they respected my desire not to be tracked, I'd have given some simple unobtrusive ads a chance. They're only shooting themselves in the foot.

    • Re:That's fine (Score:5, Informative)

      by couchslug (175151) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @10:59AM (#41506137)

      "I'll just keep using AdBlock Plus, NoScript, etc."

      I'll keep REMINDING OTHERS to use AdBlock Plus, NoScript, etc.

    • Re:That's fine (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Nursie (632944) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @11:10AM (#41506195)

      Indeed. I dont even mind if they detect that and block me. I'm not prepared to accept the implied contract to make my computer fetch ads over my connection. If they then want to drop their end it's fine.

      I usually let text-ads through because they're just easy to ignore.

      • by Compaqt (1758360)

        So I imagine you don't really care for DNT, right?

        You're already running adblockers, what's the point of DNT? Just destroying the ad-funded free content sites.

        • Re:That's fine (Score:5, Insightful)

          by drooling-dog (189103) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @01:29PM (#41507079)

          what's the point of DNT? Just destroying the ad-funded free content sites.

          If you can't support your site without tracking your users across the web - an unethical practice, IMHO - then I'll hardly be mourning its destruction.

        • Re:That's fine (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Cinder6 (894572) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @01:29PM (#41507087)

          DNT doesn't stop anyone from having ads on their sites.

        • by Nursie (632944)

          DNT was a way to tell people not to track you. It's not only the ads that do that, but js plugins, analytics, even social networking buttons and graphics.

          Not acceptable.

          IMHO now this has failex we need a new set of ABP rules that block facebook and google (etc) resources from loading when not on their domains.

    • We should start another category and block list for AdBlock: domains that refuse to honor DNT.
  • Aha! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 30, 2012 @10:42AM (#41506043)

    So they're afraid they aren't going to make all the money they have been making with advertisements.

    My take on this: go get a real job.

    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by mwvdlee (775178)

      Yeah, go get a real job, Slashdot editors!

      Okay... bad example.

      • Re:Aha! (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 30, 2012 @10:49AM (#41506083)

        Not a bad example, though. All they do is approving the submissions of some other people that don't get a single dollar from what they send to the site.

        So they make money of other people's work. True or false?

      • Not a bad example (Score:4, Insightful)

        by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @02:34PM (#41507449)
        You may joke about Slashdot editors, but actually, editing user-submitted articles is not necessarily something people need to be paid to do. Many scientific journals are edited by volunteers, and really, why shouldn't a website that people read for the user comments (like Slashdot) be run by volunteers? Users are already moderators on Slashdot, and we have metamoderation to help cope with the miscreants who manage to get mod points.
  • Yeah, well.. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 30, 2012 @10:45AM (#41506065)

    Joke's on them. I run NoScript.

  • by GPLHost-Thomas (1330431) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @10:47AM (#41506075)
    We don't deny the right for any site owner to do advertising. If we don't want to see the adds, we can stop going on the site. But what's not normal is tracking visitors across multiple sites and without their consent or knowledge. I recommend everyone to install the ghostery pluggin, just to see how far this has gone (eg: so many sites are displaying trackers from 3rd parties).
    • by bengoerz (581218) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @10:56AM (#41506125)
      It's ironic that Ghostery identifies 6 trackers on this very Slashdot page.
    • by Compaqt (1758360)

      Playing devil's advocate here: Tracking ads allow lesser and offbeat websites to exist.

      Otherwise, the only nonpay-content websites you could have would be those directly related to a money-making ad category (like computers and mobile phones).

      Tracking ads let you have a blog on esoteric subjects, and yet your visitors will still get relevant ads.

      Example: I get a lot of server and webhosting ads, which are highly relevant for me. On the other hand, you don't like any ads, so you block them. No problem, right

      • by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @02:03PM (#41507303)

        Playing devil's advocate here: Tracking ads allow lesser and offbeat websites to exist.

        I doubt that is the case. Most of the offbeat websites I have seen have pretty low operating costs -- they are mostly run by volunteers, and their costs are mainly bandwidth and hosting. Not only that, but I see other, better solutions:

        1. Offbeat websites can focus on developing communities of users, who will want to buy merchandise with the website's brand. These users know that their website costs at least some money to operate, and those with money will be willing to buy the merchandise. If you spend $100/mo. on hosting, then you only really need to sell 10 t-shirts per month to cover those costs -- if you cannot get 600 people to buy t-shirts over the course of 5 years, you are doing something wrong.
        2. Users can be asked to donate a bit to cover operating costs. It is not asking much for a handful of users to make a small payment. If your website is small and obscure, you will not need to solicit donations on the scale of Wikipedia; 1000 users contributing a penny each month is not that much to ask for.
        3. If all else fails, if there is no reliable way to keep small websites running with tracking ads, then we need to make a new system that is less centralized than the web. Yes, I know, heaven forbid we ditch the wonderful HTTP protocol, but come on -- HTTP is not *that* great, and at this point I think we could do better. Let's revive P2P, and leave the web for things that really do require a client-server model (say, interacting with a central database; banking, shopping, etc.). We could even build it right into our browsers, so that we could have hyperlinks between the P2P network and the web.

        Yes, it sounds incredible, but users can participate in keeping their favorite websites running, and they can do so without being highly technical or extremely wealthy. The first thing we need to do is to stop treating users like an exploitable resource; the rest falls into place from there.

    • by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @01:54PM (#41507253)

      We don't deny the right for any site owner to do advertising

      Only to a certain limit of annoyance, beyond which we install ABP. We crossed that threshold over a decade ago, when all sorts of nasty tricks to avoid pop up blockers started to appear. My mother could not even read a New Yorker article, because some hover ad kept covering the text; I installed ABP for her, and the problem was solved.

      You see, the problem here is that unsolicited advertising annoys people, and it is a terrible way to monetize a product. ABP exists because unsolicited ads had become so annoying on the web, and because those ads were consuming more CPU time than the actual web page they were placed on.

      If we don't want to see the adds, we can stop going on the site

      Which only works if you are willing to cut yourself off from modern society. How do you check the weather? How do you look up the location of a store? This is the reality of life in the 21st century: to do common activities, you start up a web browser, and if you are not using ABP you will be bombarded with advertising.

      But what's not normal is tracking visitors across multiple sites and without their consent or knowledge

      Well, here's the thing: unsolicited advertising is not very profitable, so you can expect the most greedy, underhanded approaches to improving profits. That is part of the problem with using unsolicited advertising as a way to monetize the web, and this stems from the annoyance of seeing unsolicited ads.

      Basically, if your revenue model is based on exploiting people like they are a resource, you are doing the wrong thing, and eventually you are going to face rebellion. That online advertisers do not realize this is a testament to their general worldview: they do not see people, they only see wallets.

  • Who's funding this group, when it comes down to it?

    Okay, two questions:

    Does anyone really give a shit what this particular group has to say?

  • by bengoerz (581218) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @10:49AM (#41506087)
    It is possible to advertise online without tracking users. It may not be quite as profitable, but it served the Internet well in the early days.

    Besides, you don't need tracking to know that Slashdot's audience is full of nerds who will buy open their wallets to companies like ThinkGeek, NewEgg, etc.
  • Who noticed? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 30, 2012 @10:50AM (#41506099)

    Given that the message depends on JS, most people who set DNT are either incredibly naive, or block JS too.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The internet (spelled with a small 'i' despite my spell checker) worked just fine before the economic discount-superstore model was imposed upon it in the mid 90s.so if you don't mind ITIF, I'm gonna go start my own internet... with star trek and porn.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 30, 2012 @10:51AM (#41506107)

    Do Not Track does not mean Do Not Advertise. It just means don't collect my personal data from every site I visit and form a profile of my habits.

    Honestly, from the way these people are talking you'd think advertising never worked in the past when it wasn't possible to do that.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 30, 2012 @10:54AM (#41506117)

    Do Not Track essentially enables people who are concerned about privacy to support the web page owners by still being targets of advertising. To reject their request means "we don't want you looking at our ads" and pushes these people to simply use adblock. Mind that people who are already blocking ads have no use from DNT.

  • Bad TFA (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mrsam (12205) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @10:58AM (#41506133) Homepage

    There was one crucial piece of information missing from TFA: exactly why would a non-insignificant fraction of the population in large would even care that this particular think-tank's piddly web site exists? It would be news if say, some major national bank's web site blocked visitors who've enabled the do-not-track header. That, I can understand, would be news. But...

    1) Who is ITIF, and

    2) Who cares about their web site?

    As soon as someone explains that, we can move ahead to the next step.

  • by Let's All Be Chinese (2654985) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @11:01AM (#41506145)

    The economic foundation of the internet has nothing to do with advertising. The current state of the world wide web does, but they're different things. For a supposedly technology-focused think-tank, I'd expect them to understand that difference.

    The economic foundation of the internet is the advantage gained from interconnecting networks. You care for your bit of network, yet have access to everyone else's too. In return you carry other networks' traffic just as they carry yours. As such, the internet's foundations are those of "being a cooperative".

    The world wide web, now, that's something different. It's the conceptual web made out of various parties' "content" linked together. Since it can be used to show pictures and text from elsewhere, advertising is easily added to many a page. Advertising is used to fund large parts of that, and it's an interesting exercise to imagine what the www would be like without the advertising income. There'd be many fewer websites, especially since many of them currently survive by the grace of advertising income, even exist for the sole purpose of attracting "clicks" to be sold to advertisers. Those would go away right quick.

    What would be left? Discuss.

  • by iCEBaLM (34905) <icebalm&icebalm,com> on Sunday September 30, 2012 @11:07AM (#41506173)

    The internet is already paid for. Every home user and business pays their ISP, every small ISP pays their upstream, every large ISP pays to run their lines and to peer, etc.

    Advertising on the internet is a huge assumption. It is assumed that people will:

    1. See the ads.
    2. Click on them if they're interested.
    3. Buy product if they're interested.

    There is no obligation for anyone to do any of these. No contract, written, social, or otherwise, requires people to even see the ads, and as this failed business model dwindles, companies have started tracking users and harvesting information as a business model, simply because they can.

    Where do these overblown assholes get off telling us it's the Economic Foundation of the Internet?

    • by Lennie (16154)

      Well, I agree with them that a lot of content is paid for by ads.

      Look at TV or newspaper or websites or mobile apps, a lot of them have ads. Even if you've already payed for it.

      Why ? Because it makes it cheaper for the user, which lowers the barrier to entry.

      Hell, if you have a loyalty program card from a store they use that to track you too even though you are buying stuff from them.

      What I don't agree with is they think they need tracking. That is just BS. You can do most of what they do without tracking.

    • by CrashNBrn (1143981) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @11:46AM (#41506381)
      That's not the main purpose of Advertising. Product Awareness is the KEY purpose of Advertising. And most people wont necessarily even realize it. When the time comes that you need to purchase product-type-x, unless you go with whatever is the cheapest, you are more likely to buy something by a Brand that you've seen before --- whether that was an Internet Ad or Television, Billboard, whatever.
  • Do these people really believe that advertising only works without tracking ?

    Most of the things they do now, they can do without tracking:

    https://air.mozilla.org/tracking-not-required/ [mozilla.org]

  • by Golden_Rider (137548) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @11:11AM (#41506201)

    From the link:

    However, privacy advocates do not like this so they have been pushing for the creation and implementation of a Do Not Track standard. The problem is that if users are not tracked, then websites cannot deliver targeted advertising. Instead, websites would only be able to use non-targeted advertising which does not generate as much revenue.

    Well... yeah. That's the whole point.

    If your business idea needs the revenue from targeted advertising and the revenue from NON-targeted advertising would mean you'd have to close down, then your business idea is not good enough. It does NOT mean that everybody else has to endure being tracked so that you can make more money. Of course, you're free to prevent whoever you do not like from visiting your website. But your sense of entitlement ("we cannot have user privacy because *I* deserve more money!") is wrong.

    Not that I think those "do not track" settings ever will work, because they rely on the bad guys cooperating, and advertisers clearly have shown over the years that they will do ANYTHING to get around advertising restrictions. But the general idea (users should be able to decline targeted advertising) is good.

  • Think-tank known for its strong stance on turning the Internet in to a locked-down shopping mall takes strong stance against technology designed to protect users. No-one notices.

    In other news, the KKK blocks users from predominantly black/latino areas, leaving them with on average 1600 hits per month (down from 1617 hits per month).

  • by TheStonepedo (885845) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @11:24AM (#41506251) Homepage Journal

    Once a site delivering free content is popular enough to have significant operating overhead, it's probably worth the effort and money to formally organize the content provider as a for-profit or non-profit entity.
    The local newspaper in my town of approximately 100 thousand sells subscriptions to readers who want more than a fixed quota of articles per month.
    Wikipedia has fundraisers.
    Both of these free content providers have found ways to fund their efforts without using targeted ads.
    Suggesting that ad revenue will disappear without personalized ads seems to overlook the fact that many people are willing to pay a fair price for content instead of expecting ads to support their mooching.

  • by tgd (2822)

    Advertising is supporting the TV show I'm watching right now, and the newspaper I read this morning ...

    Neither of them were tracking me.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 30, 2012 @11:25AM (#41506261)

    Browsing http://www.itif.org/ [itif.org] with noscript installed or javascript disabled, I don't even see their rejection of my DNT header unless and until I enable javascript for the site.

  • by alecto (42429) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @11:28AM (#41506281) Homepage

    . . . from a site that goes out of its way to block adblocking users that I couldn't live without. It seems to me that those running sites who do this sort of thing vastly overestimate the value of their "content."

  • 'Do Not Track is a detrimental policy that undermines the economic foundation of the Internet,' Daniel Castro

    Maybe if that 'economic foundation' were undermined, the Internet would, once again, become a useful tool. I remember, all too well, the day that AOL opened the floodgates. The ads back then where simple, to the point and less obtrusive.

    Okay, I'll say it first.... "Get off my lawn."

  • I applaud your courageous and independent minded decision to keep the web free. The government intrusion that is DNT is unjustified and surely will stopp all "technological innovation and productivity" on the web. We must have policies the "boost innovation and encourage the widespread 'digitization' of the economy" which "is critical to ensuring robust economic growth." It is true that "the innovation economy has become increasingly important" and we cannot allow "opposition to it from special interest
  • by GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) <almafuerte.gmail@com> on Sunday September 30, 2012 @11:38AM (#41506333)

    This is one area where we are not given enough credit, but the Internet as we know is here thanks to Free Software.

    Sure, most people doesn't realize this, and of those that do, most won't accept it, but it's still the truth. What allowed the internet to grow so big? Do you think Google would exist if they had to pay an expensive Unix license for every machine they own? Sure, they might be able to afford it now, but they didn't years ago, and they would have never gotten this far. Even now it would be a huge hit on their wallet. Take the Internet as it exists right now. Remove GNU/Linux and *BSD, Bind, Apache, SSH, MySQL/PostgreSQL, PHP, Perl, Python, nginx, squid, rsync. I can go on and on. Now remove 90% of all web apps out there. Remove Wordpress, Joomla, and just about every other CMS. Now take the client side. Remove KHTML (And with that webkit, and therefore Safari and Chrome), remove Firefox. Remove Android. What are we left with? I think if you remove all Free Software from the Internet, aside from the fact that there would be no root DNS servers and most of the routers would be down, and what servers are still intact? microsoft.com? I'm pretty sure even they relay on Free Software.

    So, Fuck off ITIF. It's not advertisement. Many people think content should be pay for, that content couldn't exist without advertisement, well,you are using the most advanced infrastructure ever created to create and serve your content, and the infrastructure was created for free. Certainly we can create some GPL'd cat pictures, porn and tech articles to replace your stupid content. Please go away.

    All the pro-advertisement self-entitled idiots are using trillions of dollars of infrastructure the community created for free, and they go "But our dong jokes are priceless. We need money!". Well fuck you.

  • by mounthood (993037) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @11:51AM (#41506417)

    Browsers need to fix tracking, like they did for popups and malware sites. Aggressive technical measures can bring tracking networks in line. Tracking networks pay popular websites to include their crap and then sell the data they collect. Make it a pain for websites that include 300 tracking networks and we'll be attacking the money.

    At the very least browsers should:
    * Lockdown the user-agent string
    * Force plugins (like flash) to either not have cookies (or storage), or let the browser control any tracking
    * Raise awareness by warning users when they are obviously being tracked
    * Limit the number of cookies generated by visiting a single web page -- don't let one page lead to 300 cookies from hundreds of domains

    Here's an idea: the browser won't download anything from any 3rd party domain, unless the primary website asserts responsibility for the 3rd party domain (either in source or headers). No website would want to take responsibility for an advertising network, much less a tracking network. Advertisers would be under enormous scrutiny to not track people, because their clients would be the ones getting sued.

    Here's another idea: Mozilla runs it's own adblock-style blocking list. Companies would have to convince Mozilla they're not tracking people, and possible sign legal agreements to enforce it. Mozilla could simply block any site they don't think is acting honorably. If they collected info on 0 byte images they'd know most of the worst players right away.

    Another idea: browsers could auto-change identities every 10 minutes; like switching to a new profile. If cookies from active tabs were saved it would eliminate 80% of the problems without the user having to do anything.

  • by Greyfox (87712) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @11:51AM (#41506419) Homepage Journal
    Run Noscript and Better Privacy. Set cookies to be accepted and then deleted when the browser closes. Set Better Privacy to delete flash and other more persistent tracking tags when the browser closes. Only enable javascript temporarily on pages you really want to see -- most of the time I'll see the page is not usable without javascript and just close that window. Want to serve me a click through ad? Fine, I'll just close that window. There isn't a page on the internet that I need to see, and I certainly don't care to visit one that wants to jam adverts down my throat. And yet I just bought some more stuff from a Google-served unobtrusive text ad the other day. If Google can appeal to someone as ad-hostile as I am, is it any wonder they're doing so well when everyone else is apparently circling the drain?
  • Just set your browser to only have session cookies. Why this big DNT thing?

    Or do people think even that is too much? How will you even log in?

  • by Todd Knarr (15451) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @12:15PM (#41506563) Homepage

    What's funny is that DNT doesn't say "Don't send me advertisements.". They're just throwing a tantrum, threatening to take all their toys and go home if they can't do absolutely anything they want any time they want. I say treat 'em like you'd treat the other 2-year-old on the playground who does that: shrug and go play with everybody else and their toys. Ain't worth puttin' up with the brat's drama.

  • by bmo (77928) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @12:47PM (#41506805)

    And this is me adding them to my hosts file:

    0.0.0.0 [tab] www.itif.org [enter]

    Firefox can't establish a connection to the server at www.itif.org.

    Other sites similarly "standing on principle" in regards to this in a similar way will also be added and I encourage everyone to deep-six in whatever means seems convenient.

    It's as if there was nobody making money through advertising before tracking.

    --
    BMO

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