Do Not Track soon supported by legislation in the United States?

Do Not Track functionality embedded within web browsers could be supplemented by a law requiring websites to be compatible.

Do Not Track technology, ensuring better protection of users to advertising, continues to create disagreement. Finally, it is US law that could decide. Remember, Do Not Track feature offers the user to send an HTTP request to sites stating that it does not wish to be drawn on the canvas. Of course, this initiative is not to please the boards whose advertising campaigns will therefore be much less relevant.

In 2007, the FTC had seen a change in management in the advertising market with the use of advanced targeting Internet users. The regulator of trade in the United States had asked for browser vendors to find ways to implement solutions so that people can, if necessary, refuse to be drawn by advertisements displayed on such and such sites. Mozilla, Google, Apple and Microsoft have therefore integrated this feature and the W3C, the body responsible for regulating the development of the web, working on a standardized implementation.

However, the mechanism only works if the site visited by the user is able to communicate with the browser. At present, only a few sites are compatible. Yahoo !, Twitter and AOL have finished implementing the technology and Google said support it.

In one of his last dispatches, Reuters explains that the defenders of the Do Not Track and advertising agencies do not agree on even the real purpose of the mechanism. For the former, they are able to surf the Web without transferring personal data while for the latter, the system prevents the activation of basing their advertisements on user’s browsing history but allows all of same to collect other types of data.

Recently we learned that Microsoft wanted to enable the Do Not Track by default in its Internet Explorer 10, a statement that had boosted advertisers. For these, the equation is simple: without targeted advertising, Internet economy will collapse. In the US, revenues generated by online advertising in 2011 reached $ 15 billion an increase of 23% year on year.

According to Reuters, without consensus between the parties before the end of the year, the US government could decide in favor of consumers and force the most popular websites to immediately change the header of their pages in order to communicate with browsers offer the feature Do Not Track.

Edited on 24/07/2012 at 15h06

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