For those who don’t know Do Not Track is a technology and essentially a policy proposal that those who don’t want their web use tracked have the option to opt out of it. It gives users a simple and simple choice to opt out of third-party web tracking. Though it only works if third-parties commit to honor DNT requests which signals the user’s preference through an HTTP header. Yahoo was one of the first companies to commit but now it has decided not to honor requests.
On its public policy blog the company’s privacy team writes that they “fundamentally believe” that the best web experience is a personalized one. Therefore to offer all of its users a more personalized experience Yahoo will no longer honor web browser Do Not Track settings.
The company says that while it has been greatly involved in conversations on how to develop the most user-friendly standard, it hasn’t seen a single effective standard emerge that is easy to use and widely adopted by the tech industry. Instead of DNT it says that users can take advantage of the privacy tools it offers within its own platform to manage their privacy on Yahoo.
Yahoo isn’t alone in sidelining DNT. Back in February 2012 major online advertising trade groups pledged at the White House that they would support Do Not Track by year’s end. That didn’t happen. Even efforts to standardize DNT remain in limbo in the World Wide Web consortium despite the fact that American and European policymakers have frequently urged for its acceptance.