Ad industry says IE10's Do-Not-Track implemenation hurts web

By on October 3, 2012, 6:00 PM

Recently, Microsoft's decision to equip Internet Explorer 10 with Do-Not-Track and enable it by default has raised quite a few eyebrows. Unsurprisingly, the Association of National Advertisers is the latest organization to express its "profound disappointment" regarding Microsoft's choice. The ANA -- a veritable who's who of International corporations -- chided Microsoft in this open letter addressed directly to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

Microsoft's move will hurt content creators -- that's appears to be the centrifugal glue which holds the ANA's argument together. By further anonymizing visitors on an opt-out basis instead of having them opt-in, the ANA believes Microsoft will make advertising less valuable. By damaging advertising revenue, the ANA says unsuspecting web surfers will inadvertently undermine much of the quality, ad-supported content they currently enjoy online. 

That may not seem like an unreasonable argument, but long-time tech writer Ed Bott thinks a DNT-driven webpocalypse is a somewhat disingenuous premonition. Bott breaks down the ANA's letter, making note of its inconsistencies and varying shades of truthfulness. The result? Although the ANA claims IE10 will spell doom for the web, we shouldn't be thoroughly convinced. 

Apache, another detractor of Microsoft's initiative, was also mentioned by the ANA. Apache is the open-source server software which powers nearly two-thirds of the web. The organization accused Microsoft of performing a "deliberate abuse of open standards" -- a quote which the ANA gladly cited in the letter.

Chrome and Firefox have their own approaches to DNT. However, unlike IE10, users must explicitly enable the feature since it is disabled by default. Incidentally, popular ad-blocking extension Adblock Plus has taken a softer approach to online advertising, allowing text-based ads unless explicitly told not to.

Users can test whether or not their DNT is enabled by visiting Microsoft's DNT test page.

User Comments: 14

Got something to say? Post a comment
2 people like this | Guest said:

Poor ANA, not making as much money selling everyone's personal information.

Guest said:

It works for opera too!!

2 people like this | Darkshadoe Darkshadoe said:

Here's an idea:

Instead of being some sleazebag trying to steal as much information on me as you can, Be a salesman and sell me something. If I am interested in your product, I may buy it. If you annoy me with ad trackers, ad banners covering 90% of your site, or any other underhanded means, then say hello to Ad Block and any other means I have to block your crap.

Guest said:

As another guest said;

Opera also supports DNT and is turned off by default.

Giody Giody said:

Wait what? we enjoy our ads?

1 person liked this | VitalyT VitalyT said:

Away with AD-s, at least something MS have done right!

Now about f. time IE10 is made available on Windows 7.

Holly S.! Spammers are going on strike!


Guest said:

Firefox + Adblock Plus + NoScript = Awesome!

Guest said:

*Firefox + Adblock Plus + NoScript + Ghostery + Better Privacy = Awesome!


Guest said:

This isn't about ads, it's about tracking, regardless of if DNT is on/off ads will be displayed. If DNT is ON then generic ads should show up with no tracking of you (just like TV/Radio/Newspapers/Magazines do now) and if DNT is OFF then you will get targeted ads and the advertisers will track you. That's the basic premise and even that is based on the honor system, that is the DNT only tells your preference it doesn't actually block anything.

So now, Microsoft say most people will want this on, so lets us set the default setting to on, users can not agree to the defaults or change it anytime they wish. The advertisers say OMG our world is coming to an end, when we said you can have DNT we didn't mean for you to use it. Heck, we would probably still track you anyhow. They will never learn, so users will use ad-blockers and/or petition congress to create laws to stop these practices and the game continues....

1 person liked this | 3DCGMODELER 3DCGMODELER said:

I think it is great... The DNT.. If I don't want to be tracked, I do not want to be tracked..

Ha ha... The ads waste bandwith, the waste space, If I want something I will google it, If I want it I will go out to the store and buy it, or order it on line..

Ya Think...

1 person liked this | Adhmuz Adhmuz, TechSpot Paladin, said:

In your face ANA I've been blocking Ads for the better part of the century, now if only I could block those stupid billboards on the side of the highway, in particular those horrible Volkswagen adds that say "Drivers Wanted" because of that ad I will never own a Volks. Actually most ads have that affect on me, makes me not want the product being advertised and instead resent it. The only ad man I ever respected was the late great Billy Mays, that man was truly inspiring. Oh and Vince because he got his tongue bitten by a prostitute and the line "Problem with that shedding pussy?"

Guest said:

Has anyone actually bought something through an ad click?? I surely have not and even if on the off chance that an ad does show something of interest which it never does I would search for it myself and find the best price and definitely not through an ad click which half are probably malicious.

Guest said:

I doesn't hurt the web, holy cow! It just keeps people from buying more crap that they don't need in the first place. Save those pennies kids.

Load all comments...

Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.