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Yahoo! Internet Explorer Privacy Your Rights Online

Yahoo Will Ignore IE 10's "Do Not Track" 360

Posted by timothy
from the tsa-logic dept.
dsinc writes "And so it begins... Yahoo has made it official: it won't honor the Do Not Track request issued by Internet Explorer 10. Their justification? '[T]he DNT signal from IE10 doesn't express user intent" and "DNT can be easily abused.'" Wonder what percentage of users would rather be tracked by default.
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Yahoo Will Ignore IE 10's "Do Not Track"

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  • Shocking (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 27, 2012 @02:00AM (#41787029)

    See now, the trouble here is that all of these privacy settings rely on corporate "good will", when there is no such thing.

    Really, the only way to ensure your privacy is extreme paranoia. Sorry.

    • Re:Shocking (Score:5, Funny)

      by Grishnakh (216268) on Saturday October 27, 2012 @02:03AM (#41787053)

      What's even more shocking is that there's people still using Yahoo.

      • Re:Shocking (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 27, 2012 @02:11AM (#41787085)

        No, not at all. The real shock is anyone thinking that Microsoft isn't the one to blame here.

        They didn't follow the standard, again, and so they knew the switch in IE would be ignored.

        • Re:Shocking (Score:5, Interesting)

          by sjames (1099) on Saturday October 27, 2012 @05:04AM (#41787777) Homepage

          They followed it just fine. They allow the user to choose the common default configuration and CORRECTLY guessed that most commonly, people don't want to be tracked like an animal.

          If the user would like to be tracked, they may choose that as well. It's not like allowing tracking requires a registry hack.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by deergomoo (2689177)
            Am I in the minority by really not giving a shit about being tracked? It's not personally identifying and I'd rather be shown ads that are relevant than something I have no interest in. For example, a few weeks ago Slashdot were running Nexus 7 adverts. First ad I've clicked in 10 years or so.
        • Re:Shocking (Score:5, Interesting)

          by You're All Wrong (573825) on Saturday October 27, 2012 @07:59AM (#41788297)
          False - they followed the standard. Then somebody on the standards committee (Fielding, presumably) *changed* the standard.

          Look at the date stamps on the released versions of the W3C standards - look at the minutes of the meetings of the committee. If you have more than half a brain you will notice that the change between the most recent version and the previous version of the standard - which *did not* have the default clause you seem to think has been there for ever - was not discussed in any meeting.

          The WC3 is being influenced by shills. I'd put money on there being some Yahoo! input on the W3C committee.
          • Re:Shocking (Score:5, Insightful)

            by You're All Wrong (573825) on Saturday October 27, 2012 @08:02AM (#41788307)
            > The WC3 is being influenced by shills. I'd put money on there being some Yahoo! input on the W3C committee.

            Oh Jesus, it's worse than I thought. Head over to
            http://www.w3.org/2012/dnt-ws/

            Right on the front page - a hiuge great banner:
            """
            Workshop Sponsor

            sponsored by Yahoo!

            Contact W3C if you are interested in Sponsorship
            """

            Corrupt as fuck.
      • Can't beat their sports coverage, live score tracking, and their collection of sports writers. Yahoo is still the best if you are trying to track numerous college or pro football games on Saturday or Sunday. CBSsports.com is a close second. ESPN's website is too flash-heavy, and slow to load most pages.
      • by Billly Gates (198444) on Saturday October 27, 2012 @02:31AM (#41787173) Journal

        What's even more shocking is that there's people still using Yahoo.

        When working on any neophytes or old persons computer Yahoo is there under IE with the default homepage 80% of the time. Reason being is the crapware that OEMs install as well as ISP software both reset the users homepage too it for $$$ cash back.

        Ones with MSN as the default page are typically corporate users. If MS decided not to be retarded and capture the market from Google they would put it in the Windows contract to not change the homepage at the OEM level. ... anyway I can see why Yahoo would be threatened by this as smart users like us who go to sites like slashdot use an alternative browser. Or if we do use IE we change the homepage to Google or something similar. Yahoo is the oldschool portal that regular people use who are not into computers very reminiscent of AOL back in the day 10 years earlier.

      • Re:Shocking (Score:5, Interesting)

        by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Saturday October 27, 2012 @02:51AM (#41787265)

        I use flickr and mostly (same reason people stick with 'certain social networks') its because there are some really good people I stay in touch with. its a damned shame that flickr is also yahoo.

        I have quite a complex set of adblock filters for yahoo and they often get in the way when I try to do some editing in flickr. some dialogs take nearly a minute to pop up! god knows what jscript evil they are doing, but my systems just hangs and times out until their crap gives up and finally presents me with the dialog box I was trying to get (move photos into a group, etc). their STUPID gui programming interlaces too well with the ads and stuff that catches my filters, the site is nearly unusable. and its totally unusable without any filtering. lose/lose.

        its a shame yahoo has mostly died. we do need alternatives. but their mail is unusable on my system and flickr is mostly unusable if you try to do anything other than a simple upload and tag.

        hell, even dpreview (used to be a good photo site) has jumped the shark with their new reinvention of their web code. almost nothing works for me, there, now.

        what is it with webmasters and the desire to use the most broken coding they can get away with? this really is breaking the web. the web was NOT meant for your javascript 'catch me if you can!' bullshit. it really was not!

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by humanrev (2606607)

        How is this modded Score: 5? No-one uses the Yahoo search engine anymore, but you can bet there are tons of users of Yahoo email, Delicious, Flickr, and so on.

        Geeks should know better than to throw out statements just for karma.

      • You bring up a good point. I hear about Yahoo! occasionally when it makes the news, like now, but I haven't used their search engine since... forever? Hell, I don't even remember what search engine I used before I switched to Google (and I was late into the Google crowd), it may or may not have been Yahoo!. When I think the company these days, I think of their messenger program and protocol... as a search engine, I don't have too many memories of them, they're mostly forgotten history to me. And as a se

      • by lxs (131946)

        Yahoo finance is nice, and... euhmmm... nothing really.
        Besides, 99% of Yahoo finance hits must come from scraper applications. I doubt that they accept cookies.

    • I'm shocked, SHOCKED...
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Peter Bortas (130)

      MS broke the standard agreement for do-not-track, so I don't blame anyone for ignoring the setting if from IE10. The standard was there for a reason: It was the only chance any site would agree to following the headers intention.

      • by ChatHuant (801522)

        MS broke the standard agreement for do-not-track, so I don't blame anyone for ignoring the setting if from IE10. The standard was there for a reason: It was the only chance any site would agree to following the headers intention.

        If you stop and think for a minute, this alleged "standard" is nothing more than a promise from the ad companies that they will honor the "do not track" flag as long as we promise to never set it. And you really don't see a problem with that, but blame MS instead? Sheesh, you should be glad MS has called their bluff and exposed the "standard" as the fraud it really is.

      • MS broke the standard agreement for do-not-track, so I don't blame anyone for ignoring the setting if from IE10. The standard was there for a reason: It was the only chance any site would agree to following the headers intention.

        MS broke the standard agreement for do-not-track, so I don't blame anyone for ignoring the setting if from IE10. The standard was there for a reason: It was the only chance any site would agree to following the headers intention.

        The advertising industry never intended to honor Do Not Track [slashdot.org] anyway.

        It is the wrong choice that cross site tracking and data aggregation on users should be the default expectation, and this standard is the unholy result of advertising driven companies bending over backwards to try to make a compromise with the big advertisers - that never even intended to honor the choice of users who did manually try to opt out!

        I remember the exact same discussion and arguments when pop-up blockers first appeared incl

    • by ls671 (1122017)

      Really, the only way to ensure your privacy is extreme paranoia. Sorry.

      I would just say "sane" paranoia.

  • Why not? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 27, 2012 @02:02AM (#41787047)

    Even Apache doesn't honor DNT if it has been issued by IE10

    http://www.pcworld.com/article/262150/apache_web_servers_will_ignore_ie10s_do_not_track_settings.html

  • Obviously (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Skyshadow (508) * on Saturday October 27, 2012 @02:02AM (#41787049) Homepage

    Is it really a surprise that a failing business like Yahoo! would ignore its users in an attempt to make money?

    Look, the obvious lesson here is that no business can be trusted to keep secrets. Also: Water is wet, fire is hot. Don't give out anything you don't want to get out there, no matter what some PHB promises you.

  • by ohnocitizen (1951674) on Saturday October 27, 2012 @02:03AM (#41787055)
    Yahoo leads the way forward, whether it is in their innovative email platform with intuitive ui (ads), their reporting (entertainming/advertising) with an insightful comments from the community (tea partying racists), or their home page that I haven't visited but I hear has relevant content (ads) - Yahoo is the future. We can't expect anything less than a rejection of IE's fascist desire to make advertising less lucrative. After all, users want nothing more than for the advertising they see to be as intrusive and lucrative for companies as possible.
  • by da_matta (854422) on Saturday October 27, 2012 @02:08AM (#41787069)
    They should have made a huge startup dialog "Do you want to be tracked" and achieved 90+% block without these complaints. They might still have ignored it but at least it would have been clearly a DNT violation
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      They should have made a huge startup dialog "Do you want to be tracked"

      Have you actually seen the startup dialog [akamai.net]?

      It's not that DNT is on by default; as is made clear, choosing the Express settings will turn it on.

      The browser out of the box does not have DNT set in either state.

      • Thanx for this post!

        I thought microsoft had actually enabled it by default, which would be understandable, but against the spec

        But here the user actually makes the choice. it's not on by default, but on if the user chooses to use the express settings (and it's clearly indicated)

        Or maybe a bit clearer: If clicking "I agree" under a wall of legalese text is acceptable for everyone to agree to the most outrageous demands of the companies. Then choosing express settings with mentioning clearly in a not "wall of

    • by wierd_w (1375923)

      They should have set the DNT field to a null string when not explicitly selected by the user, telling IE not to respond with a DNT response. When a site asks about DNT, and the value isnt initialized, then it can inform the user something like "$DomainHost has requested information about your willingness to receive targeted advertisement information, and other targeted web services via the DNT function. You can read more about this functionality at $MSDNPageReferenceURL. Would you like to enable this featu

    • by Xest (935314)

      Actually good on them for exposing what a sham DNT is.

      These companies ignoring it are just using whatever excuse under the sun to do what they were always going to do anyway, and ignore it.

      As I've said elsewhere, if I disable DNT in IE, then re-enable it, then there's no breach of the spec, and I've provided my express consent for the DNT option, but despite that these companies like Yahoo, and webservers like Apache will still ignore my choice if I use IE10 meaning that it's actually them who are violating

  • Changing the DNT request text from: "DNT (Default)" to "DNT (User's Choice)" Now Yahoo! will be ignoring the wishes of the user.
  • The rule on private property is that you do not have permission to use it unless and until the property owner says you do. If he doesn't say anything, you don't have permission.

    The rule about inviting yourself into someone else's home is that you don't have the right to unless they say you can. If they don't say, you don't have permission.

    Our world's full of things where a lack of explicit permission means you don't have permission. Now, as far as the site itself is concerned I don't object to them tracking

    • by BeanThere (28381) on Saturday October 27, 2012 @02:31AM (#41787171)

      Why should the rule not be that, absent my express permission for them to track my comings and goings, they do not have permission?

      Basically, it should be, this is common sense. The problem now is for those in the advertising industry whose business model has been based on the ability to deceptively trick the majority of users into not realizing just how badly they're being tracked online and how broadly their info is being sold etc.

      I think if your business model is based on tricking people into doing something that they would reject if they fully knew and understood what you were doing, then you are doing something wrong.

      That said, I think the claims that the industry would just die without the ability to track users are overblown. I think the effectiveness of personalized advertising is exaggerated, as well as the perceived value in compiling detailed user profiles with full web histories. The reason is that targeted advertising doesn't really increase the number of dollars available to chase after goods. Example: you don't really suddenly decide to buy a motorcycle because of a targeted advert ... in most cases you probably decided you wanted a motorcycle first, and then you probably anyway ignored most the adverts in order to do some more solidly grounded market research, e.g. looking at the specs of the bikes, getting some advice from friends or online forums, and looking at what motorcycles actually appeal to you. A targeted ad in that case might make you statistically very slightly more likely to favor another brand .... but for most people the decision will be based mostly on things like advice from friends, comparison of specs, and test rides. And after you buy the motorcycle, those dollars are basically no longer available to spend on all the other crap being advertised online to you.

      If targeted advertising based on tracking your data etc. was as useful as has been claimed, Facebook would have made a killing from it, but instead it was a flop, and they have now desperately resorted to just making companies pay for 'sponsored posts' now instead to dump the crap in your feed.

    • by Gordo_1 (256312)

      Why should the rule not be that, absent my express permission for them to track my comings and goings, they do not have permission?

      Why should the rule be that the information you explicitly (or unknowingly) divulge through your web browser in the form of cookies, IP addresses, referers, information input into forms, and so on is NOT something you have essentially shared with that party as well as any 3rd-parties they wish to share it with?

      As far as I'm concerned, if you hang your tighty whiteys on a clothesline, your neighbors have every right to sell T-shirts with a picture of your skid marked underwear on them. Don't like it? Get a d

  • by twocows (1216842) on Saturday October 27, 2012 @02:27AM (#41787145)
    And I definitely won't use them now. They can rot.
  • by Joe U (443617) on Saturday October 27, 2012 @02:30AM (#41787165) Homepage Journal

    Now I know to do full ad and cookie blocking for yahoo sites.

    Thanks Yahoo, you made my decision easier.

  • by Virtucon (127420) on Saturday October 27, 2012 @02:55AM (#41787281)

    DNT+, Ghostery these are all out there. Frankly there's probably very few websites now that don't track your IP address and other details with multiple
    trackers.

    Hell go to cnn.com and Ghostery blocks 10 trackers alone. Two of those are )(*@!@)*# Facebook trackers. Frankly, the amount of information people are collecting about our web browsing activities is becoming staggering and I for one won't rely on a company saying they'll honor "Do not Track" options from the browsers.

    As Navin Johnson said "It's out there, see a doctor get rid of it" - The Jerk

  • by frobbie (2756533) on Saturday October 27, 2012 @02:56AM (#41787291)
    The W3C DNT spec explicitly says that a browser should not set this by default, yet Microsoft is completely ignoring the spec and turning it on by default. What Yahoo is doing it 100% correct - it's the only right answer to Microsoft completely ignoring the DNT spec, both in it's intent as well as it's actual words. Every other major web property WILL do the same. Apache already has a patch to ignore DNT from IE10, now Yahoo is doing the same, and the rest will follow.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by vistapwns (1103935)
      I love the obtuseness on this sentiment, which is very common. The 'standard' was changed after it was discovered that MS was going to enable DNT by default, in that sense, it's part of the standard, but that aspect of the standard is ad hoc and politically/financially motivated. Users should have privacy by default, period. If web sites want to make money, they should innovate to attract more users, offer more services, or require a pay wall if they can't innovate. There is no pro-user argument for DNT mus
    • by bloodhawk (813939)
      What yahoo is doing is 100% INCORRECT. they are ignoring the standard, MS was within the standard up until they changed the standard a few weeks ago with the express intent to make what MS was doing out of spec. When win 8 went RTM they were within spec. The standard is being written to expressly protect privacy invasive behaviour so it isn't suprising that the scumbags writing it changed it when they saw people would actually use. The standard was never intended to protect people, it was intended to protec
    • by rastos1 (601318)
      Isn't it then logical to invert the meaning of the flag when it comes from IE?
    • by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Saturday October 27, 2012 @09:03AM (#41788529)

      The W3C DNT spec explicitly says that a browser should not set this by default, yet Microsoft is completely ignoring the spec and turning it on by default.

      No, when you first run IE10, it asks if you would like to turn DNT on as a recommended setting. The user has the choice. Before you say, "Nobody reads that anyway!" keep in mind that the justification for privacy invasion by sites like Yahoo is that they "clear" state it in the fine print (which, in fact, fewer people read).

  • by Quick Reply (688867) on Saturday October 27, 2012 @03:17AM (#41787373) Journal

    It makes me feel good inside to know that I am creating revenue for the website that I visit, which helps cover the cost of providing that website. Tracking a user and giving targeting advertising increases the value of the advertising campaigns, which translates into more money for the website.

    If we didn't have this, the web is going to become subscription-only very quickly.

    Slashdot gives me the option to "Disable Advertising" for having positive Karma, but I choose not to use this.

    What is annoying, is that the tracking wouldn't be an issue if the online advertising industry would be more honest to consumers about their practices from be beginning so that it would have been accepted early on, and also not give online advertising a bad name by not tricking websites into displaying ads that the web developer has said not to, and also allowing intrusive or misleading advertising (like how many fake 'Download' buttons do you see on Download sites for example).

    • by Opportunist (166417) on Saturday October 27, 2012 @03:34AM (#41787435)

      I agree with you yet I do have a very strict ad blocker in effect. Why, you ask?

      Because I do NOT want to reward pages that trick me into visiting them by allowing them to spam ads at me. Rather, I would prefer to damage them by increasing their bandwidth without getting them any ad revenue in turn. If enough people did it, such pages that hook onto common search queries without actually providing the relevant information would quickly cease to exist.

      If, and only if, a page offers me what I want, be it information, entertainment or just a joke, I go out of my way to enable their ads if, and only if, they don't slap me in the face with popups and more windows opening than the average person can close in a lifetime. If the ads are actually on topic (like Slashdot's are more often than not, interestingly) I will even click them to see what's on the other end of it.

      Ads are not bad by definition. Ads can actually be very informative, I would have never discovered a few games and other goodies I treasure if it was not for ads. They received their bad name by ad companies that thought it's a bright idea to make them annoying. Annoying ads don't work in the online world where I, not the ad company, decide what I'll get to see. Make ads informative and you'll see people will not only stop blocking them, they'll actually follow the link they provide to learn more about the product.

      Of course, for that to work you'd first of all need a product that people actually wanted and that doesn't need hard selling...

      • by swillden (191260)

        Make ads informative and you'll see people will not only stop blocking them, they'll actually follow the link they provide to learn more about the product.

        One very interesting example of this is Google's shift to "skippable" ads on YouTube. I'm sure we'd all rather not have video ads at all, but I've noticed that when advertisers realize they only have a few seconds to hook you before you click the "skip" button, they come up with some pretty entertaining ads. More often than not I don't click "skip".

    • by Xest (935314) on Saturday October 27, 2012 @03:57AM (#41787517)

      Yes, because before ads and subscription only became the norm there was nothing on the internet whatsoever, no content at all, nope, none whatsoever. Even sites like Wikipedia don't actually exist and we all just imagined them because they don't have ads or tracking so they can't possibly be real.

      For what it's worth the quality of content has gone down with the increase in ad-revenue run sites. You only have to look at Slashdot for example - nowadays due to being so reliant on gathering ad-revenue they regularly post stories that are out and out flamebait and not correct, informative, or interesting whatsoever purely to gain ad-revenue. Ad run websites have merely created a race to the bottom- to provide as much untrue inciteful bollocks as possible to make people come and see what the fuss is all about to increase ad revenue.

    • by jimicus (737525)

      I never bothered with an ad blocker for years.

      It was just one single product that made me change my mind. A single product that kept on putting up intrusive ads - ads with no obvious way to close them, ads which were overlaid across the page I wanted to read, ads which quite obviously used Javascript that hadn't been tested on Safari under OS X because they broke horribly.

      (I particularly draw your attention to that last bit. The product in question was MacKeeper).

    • by Kergan (780543)

      It makes me feel good inside to know that I am creating revenue for the website that I visit, which helps cover the cost of providing that website. Tracking a user and giving targeting advertising increases the value of the advertising campaigns, which translates into more money for the website.

      If we didn't have this, the web is going to become subscription-only very quickly.

      Where your argument falls apart is that displaying advertisements and tracking users are mostly orthogonal problems. The print business has been doing OK without tracking users in magazines, and so does the TV business. They *do* track users, mind you, but they do so by doing surveys in which users *volunteer* information. They can then display targeted ads according to the three most relevant means of segmenting a market: sex, age and revenue.

      Web advertisers, by contrast, decided it was a good thing to tra

  • If you want us to stop using tracking and ad blockers, you might want to put pressure on companies (like, say, Yahoo) that make us use them.

    Sincerely, your user.

    • by wierd_w (1375923)

      (assumes role of Devil's Advocate...)

      Dear User,

      The reason we want you to stop using software to block advertisements and tracking cookies is manifold; we rely on advertisement revenue to supply you with our web content. In addition to that, we rely on tracking cookies to track your browser session. We do this to differentiate your session from other registered users, and to maintain the contents of any internet shopping queues you may have currently active. Obstruction the function of these two required ser

  • Does Yahoo honour the Do Not Track of any browser?
    If so, which?

  • by allo (1728082) on Saturday October 27, 2012 @06:16AM (#41788001)

    They are now showing the world, what it is like to use a setting, where the obedience of the websites is voluntary. And they have their cross-site-tracking detection feature.

    written from firefox with DNT on, noscript and adblockplus with no-tracking blacklist (no ghostery, as its rather dubious and ABP can do the same with the right lists)

  • by fgouget (925644) on Saturday October 27, 2012 @06:30AM (#41788035)

    Wonder what percentage of users would rather be tracked by default.

    According to a 2012 Pew Internet study [pewinternet.org], 73% [pewinternet.org] of search engine users said they were against tracking by the search engines, and 68% [pewinternet.org] were against targeted advertising.

    The corollary is that respecting DNT even for IE 10 matches what over 70%(*) of the users want, while ignoring it only satisfies the wishes of 28%(**) of the users.

    (*) I'm starting with the 'targeted ads' numbers which are the more conservative ones. The survey shows 28% of the users want them and 68% oppose them. Furthermore another study [softpedia.com] shows that, when they have to manually hunt and set DNT, 5 to 6% of the overall population turns it on. Given that we know 68% favor DNT that means 7 to 9% of the users will go through the hassle. So if DNT is on by default on IE 10 we can expect 7 to 9% of the I-want-targeted-ads crowd to turn it back off which translates to 2 to 2.5%. So if DNT is honored for IE 10 these 2 to 2.5% users will get what they want as well as the 68% who are fine with the default setting, yielding a total of 70 to 70.5% users getting what they want.

    (**) Or, conversely, going against the wishes of 68% of the users (the remaining 4% don't know what they want).

  • by Grismar (840501) on Saturday October 27, 2012 @06:55AM (#41788117)

    It's not Yahoo that's at fault here, at least not all by itself. Microsoft chose to implement an "on by default" DNT feature in IE10, which goes against the agreed intention of DNT. Microsoft can fix this in many ways, the simplest of which could be to offer the user a choice upon first using IE10 - heck, they can even have the "activate Do Not Track" option selected by default, so people will only have to click "OK".

    Why, do you think, did Microsoft choose not to do this? Do you really think that removing that choice from the first use degrades the user experience so much that it validates ignoring a standard and risking justified behavior from parties like Yahoo? Or could it be that it is Microsoft that would like to see DNT marginalized and sees this as the perfect way of doing so: embrace (done), extend (done), extinguish (in 3.. 2.. 1...)

This is a good time to punt work.

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