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Apache Patch To Override IE 10's Do Not Track Setting

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the routing-around-it dept.

Internet Explorer 375

hypnosec writes "A new patch for Apache by Roy Fielding, one of the authors of the Do Not Track (DNT) standard, is set to override the DNT option if the browser reaching the server is Internet Explorer 10. Microsoft has by default enabled DNT in Internet Explorer 10 stating that it is to 'better protect user privacy.' This hasn't gone down well with ad networks, users and other browser makers. According to Mozilla, the DNT feature shouldn't be either in an active state or an inactive state until and unless a user specifically sets it. Along the same lines is the stance adopted by Digital Advertising Alliance. The alliance has revealed that it will only honor DNT if and only if it is not switched on by default. This means advertisers will be ignoring the DNT altogether no matter how a particular browser is set up. The DNT project has another member – Apache. It turns out that Microsoft's stance is like a thorn to Apache as well. Fielding has written a patch for the web server titled 'Apache does not tolerate deliberate abuse of open standards.' The patch immediately sparked a debate, which instigated Fielding to elaborate on his work: 'The only reason DNT exists is to express a non-default option. That's all it does. [...] It does not protect anyone's privacy unless the recipients believe it was set by a real human being, with a real preference for privacy over personalization.'"

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Gee, How Much Google Paid For This (2, Interesting)

DcDc (2725661) | about 2 years ago | (#41272471)

It's obvious that its scumbag advertisers and Google (maybe I'm repeating myself here) behind this. They want a way to track every user and all their behaviors. They want things like these to either not exist or be disabled by default. They live for all the user data they can gather. This also means they are available for law enforcement and any other party with interest to gather that data, now and in the future.

It's already starting to bother me. I'm seeing these advertisements here on Slashdot too. After I've searched for something on Google, the related advertisements start to come up EVERYWHERE on the internet. Seriously, they come after you. If you search for specific flights you start to see ads for that everyone. It'll haunt you and there's nothing you can do.

Google already got into trouble over Safari privacy violations [slashdot.org] . Did you know that Safari is currently the only browser that blocks third party blocking cookies like those used by advertising networks (Google)? All the other browsers than Safari and IE are in bed with advertisers because both Firefox and Opera get revenue directly from Google. Chrome of course is the worst because it's designed by the advertising network itself.

You know what's the worst thing? I have a developing case of paranoid schizophrenia [mindreading.me] . The behavioral advertisements are driving me nuts! It's pure hell when you have such case. I have tried to ease me by blocking such things but still Google gets thru something. They literally follow my every step everywhere. Imagine how paranoid you feel when you're already sick. What am I going to do, stop using the internet? That's really nice.

So for the love of god Apache Project, stop taking bribes from Google and doing evil things like this!

Re:Gee, How Much Google Paid For This (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41272515)

I agree, but they won't change so I use dnsmasq:
address=/doubleclick.net/192.168.10.1
address=/google-analytics.com/192.168.10.1

Re:Gee, How Much Google Paid For This (4, Insightful)

Stormthirst (66538) | about 2 years ago | (#41272519)

Ad-block FTW

Re:Gee, How Much Google Paid For This (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41272569)

Privoxy is more convenient

Re:Gee, How Much Google Paid For This (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41272725)

Ad-Block doesn't really help as much as you think. It's blocking ads and cookies, not tracking. Companies have had a long time to learn ways to gather data despite adblock. Install DNT Plus alongside it.

http://www.abine.com/dntdetail.php

My solution is a little extreme, but I have DNScrypt, DNT Plus, Ad-Block, Flash-Block and BetterPrivacy. I also have Collusion just to watch what data I am sharing and with who.

Re:Gee, How Much Google Paid For This (3, Informative)

TrueSatan (1709878) | about 2 years ago | (#41272883)

You don't mention this but DNS Crypt is only, officially, supported on Windows and Mac but it can be made to work on GNU/Linux and BSD with a little work. The following site gives the details you would need to do this https://johnfail.wordpress.com/2012/07/24/dnscrypt-for-linux/ [wordpress.com]

Re:Gee, How Much Google Paid For This (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41273031)

I never thought to do it for my linux box. Thanks.

Re:Gee, How Much Google Paid For This (3, Funny)

rotorbudd (1242864) | about 2 years ago | (#41272523)

Just wait till they start hiding under your bed with chainsaws.

Re:Gee, How Much Google Paid For This (1)

nzac (1822298) | about 2 years ago | (#41272577)

It's in the interest of all its user-base to minimize the number of DNT browsers. Ads fund websites and targeted advertising brings in more revenue for the sites (i would think).

Choosing to ignore a standard is not what they should be doing either.

Re:Gee, How Much Google Paid For This (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41272615)

It's a standard for what exactly? If it's not about communicating user tracking preferences it serves no more function than COPPA age checks.

Re:Gee, How Much Google Paid For This (5, Insightful)

Karzz1 (306015) | about 2 years ago | (#41272931)

Choosing to ignore a standard is not what they should be doing either.

To be honest this is kind of a ridiculous standard anyway. The way I read it, it seems to me the sites I would least want to track me are the exact sites that are most likely to ignore DNT completely. This standard reminds me of the Evil Bit RFC. [ietf.org]

Re:Gee, How Much Google Paid For This (5, Informative)

heypete (60671) | about 2 years ago | (#41272677)

It's already starting to bother me. I'm seeing these advertisements here on Slashdot too. After I've searched for something on Google, the related advertisements start to come up EVERYWHERE on the internet. Seriously, they come after you. If you search for specific flights you start to see ads for that everyone. It'll haunt you and there's nothing you can do.

Not true: you can change your Google Ad Preferences [google.com] or opt-out.

Similarly, you can use the NAI's opt-out page [networkadvertising.org] to opt-out of Google and other ad network tracking.

There's plenty of browser plugins that work to block ads entirely (such as AdBlock) and ones that ensure that the "opt-out" cookies stay in existence even if you clear your other cookies.

All the other browsers than Safari and IE are in bed with advertisers because both Firefox and Opera get revenue directly from Google.

The default search box in those browsers comes configured to use Google, yes. They do get income from ad revenue stemming from searches from the box. You're not forced to use that search box, nor are you forced to use the default settings -- you can add other search providers (like DuckDuckGo, ixquick, etc.) -- Firefox, for one, doesn't have ad agreements with anyone other than Google.

So for the love of god Apache Project, stop taking bribes from Google and doing evil things like this!

Is there evidence that the Apache project is "taking bribes from Google"?

My understanding from the article is that an individual contributed a patch to the the Apache httpd.conf source code and does not reflect the official viewpoint of the Apache Foundation, nor that the patch has been approved for inclusion. Naturally, I welcome any corrections.

Re:Gee, How Much Google Paid For This (5, Informative)

bmo (77928) | about 2 years ago | (#41272849)

Just a FYI.

I went to NAI's opt out page and tried it. I have Adblock-plus. To get all of them, you have to turn off Adblock-Plus, hit the "all of them" button, and then re-enable. Otherwise, you only get 50-some-odd out of 95.

--
BMO

Re:Gee, How Much Google Paid For This (2)

heypete (60671) | about 2 years ago | (#41272921)

Also FYI, I typoed the URL for Google's ad preferences. Here is the correct URL: http://www.google.com/ads/preferences/ [google.com] -- I left off the "s" at the end of "preferences". Mea culpa.

Re:Gee, How Much Google Paid For This (3, Informative)

Karzz1 (306015) | about 2 years ago | (#41272997)

While I agree with your sentiment I have seen where this patch is referred to as a patch against "source code";in your post and even (from the article page comments) "core source code" and I disagree with that. This is a *configuration file* patch. I don't know of anyone other than a home user trying Apache for the first time who uses the default configuration file; not to mention this patch is not even approved by or included with Apache (yet).

This may be an argument in semantics but it seems to me a true source code patch (ie. one in which once the server is compiled no configuration option will allow a setting one way or the other) is much more worrisome than a simple configuration change.

From what I am reading, unless/until this patch is included with Apache by default, this is really a non-issue. Someone who wants to ignore DNT can do it. Someone who wants to honor it can do so as well. This choice is left up to the company that is using the software (and believe me, even if DNT was hard-coded into the source code, sites that don't want to honor it would simply patch Apache internally). As I mentioned elsewhere in this thread, DNT reminds me of the "Evil Bit" RFC.

Re:Gee, How Much Google Paid For This (1)

kontio (2587153) | about 2 years ago | (#41273095)

You're not forced to use the search box or the default settings, but I recently found an annoying feature in Opera. When I start typing something in the address field Opera would automatically offer me search suggestions from Google. I'm not sure I'd like this feature be on by default, but I didn't even find a setting for turning it off. Editing Opera's search.ini manually solved the issue for me, although I'm not sure if you can achieve the same thing by deleting Google from your list of search engines and re-adding it (if you want).

Re:Gee, How Much Google Paid For This (2)

Bengie (1121981) | about 2 years ago | (#41273099)

The DAA is MUCH larger than just Google. http://www.aboutads.info/participating [aboutads.info]

Including:
Better Business Bureau
Association of the United States Army
AllState Insurance
Forbes
Microsoft (ironic)

We care about ad networks? (5, Funny)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 2 years ago | (#41272499)

This hasn't gone down well with ad networks

To quote Firefly: "Do we care? Is this something we are caring about?"

Re:We care about ad networks? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41272525)

Yes, they fund most of the content on the internet, dipshit.

Re:We care about ad networks? (5, Insightful)

mister_playboy (1474163) | about 2 years ago | (#41272547)

There was content on the web before there were ads, dipshit.

Anyone who thinks we can't have one without the other is wrong, because that state has already happened.

Re:We care about ad networks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41272595)

Do you even remember the WWW of the 90s? I mean sure, there were content, but my god...

Re:We care about ad networks? (3, Funny)

JustOK (667959) | about 2 years ago | (#41272601)

oh, yes. And what a wonderful web it was.

Re:We care about ad networks? (4, Informative)

BorgDrone (64343) | about 2 years ago | (#41272625)

Yes, all improvements to the web are thanks to the ad companies, it has nothing to do with technological progress.

Re:We care about ad networks? (0)

Celarent Darii (1561999) | about 2 years ago | (#41272661)

I hope you simply forgot the /sarcasm tag.

Re:We care about ad networks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41273007)

He didn't forget, he thought we were smart enough to get it without it, asshole.

Re:We care about ad networks? (5, Insightful)

silas_moeckel (234313) | about 2 years ago | (#41272693)

Why yes it was there was content, not people telling each other what they had for dinner and when they had a BM. When you searched for information about a piece of hardware you got the manual and other useful information not the marking drivel. The noise ratio of the internet has gone up dramatically as it's become more and more commercial.

Re:We care about ad networks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41272879)

technically, there must be something else to call something "ratio": you can't say noise ratio of internet.
I think you wanted to refer signal-to-noise ratio which in this case, it does down instead of going up with the junk on the internet

Re:We care about ad networks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41272709)

Yea, because the internet would be totally awesome without search engines. Of course you should have the option to turn on DNT, but setting it by default actually allows advertisers to ignore it under the current policies. It's purely a PR move by Microsoft because the end result is that you lose choice since there is no way to know if you "opted-in" to DNT or not on IE 10.

Re:We care about ad networks? (3, Insightful)

johanw (1001493) | about 2 years ago | (#41273009)

What makes you think they don't ignore it anyway? That is why I don't care that much about DNT and use AdBlock Plus and Ghostery. The later also blocking those ugly Javascripts.

Re:We care about ad networks? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41272611)

Yes, they fund most of the content on the internet, dipshit.

This is a strawman. You can have ads and ad revenue without excessive user tracking.

Re:We care about ad networks? (5, Interesting)

dissy (172727) | about 2 years ago | (#41272741)

If the site is so concerned about money and income, why don't they just use regular ads instead of tracking ads then?

They can choose. Use tracking ads, have them blocked, and get nothing. Or use regular ads, and get something.

It's hardly our fault that they choose to abuse their customers and then bitch about getting no money because of it.

Re:We care about ad networks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41272857)

So what.. They can be less offensive or GTFO.. I say block them any way you can until they learn how to behave. Every computer should come with a properly filled hosts file, and go from there.. Fuck the advertisers and their agents.

Re:We care about ad networks? (5, Interesting)

Seumas (6865) | about 2 years ago | (#41272859)

The best content on the internet is produced out of a passion for creating the content, rather than a desire to make a buck. The commoditization of the internet will ruin it, yet. We can't even escape marketing and obnoxious advertising *here*. The majority of people just want to make a buck, right down to the last mommy-blogger that plasters her five-views-a-month blogger page with adsense just so she can eek a nickel out of every last word.

Remember when people did shit because they cared? They didn't have to monetize every square inch of every page of their website? The created services and content because they loved doing it or cared about the community they were doing it for? Remember when sysops built communities for free? They bought the hardware, they maintained everything, they paid for the phone lines, they spent hundreds of hours adding content, connecting their services to multi-node door games, setting up FIDOnet, accounting, etc. And they did it because they enjoyed it. And if people appreciated it enough, they chipped in some cash. Not because they were asked to, but because they wanted to. And you didn't have to be confronted with ads.

I'm not saying the whole internet has to be like that, but does *EVERYONE* have to eek a penny out of every last spot they can? Not just big websites with huge advertising contracts, but right down to every jackhole with a dinky little website or blog?

When I started my site in 1997, I did it with the specific intention of never monetizing it. I didn't charge money. I didn't charge fees. I didn't sell ads. Nothing. I did it because it was enjoyable and it served a purpose for people that they found valuable. I'm sure they'd have paid if I asked, but I didn't. It felt dirty. It felt unnecessary. I thought it was a righteous and reasonable thing to do.

Almost a decade later, I met someone in a bar and it turned out she was a long-time member of my site. We got to talking about it for awhile and when I brought up advertising, she paused and said that she actually had never even noticed that there was no advertising on the site. I couldn't believe it. I feel so accosted by advertising every fucking where I turn that I sure as hell notice it on sites and appreciate the lack of it on others. And here, I discovered that regular people neither give a shit nor even notice whether there are or aren't any ads.

Noncommercial content (1)

Compaqt (1758360) | about 2 years ago | (#41272985)

For one, yeah, the pre-commercialization web of NCSA Mosaic was awesome. (Not being sarcastic.) It was content-heavy. Down-homey. Come as you are.

It's really nice to be able to read content by people who are just writing down their thoughts and aren't constrained by have to dream up a certain number of words every day for the sake of pageviews.

Yet I have trouble finding that stuff anymore. Any normal web query you do will lead to the big sites (HuffPo, etc.) in the SERPs. And if you click on "blog" in Google, you'd expect to find posts by "real people". Instead, everything from the erstwhile AolNews to Time is included in "blog".

Anybody have a good handle on finding that old-time content? Gopher?

Re:We care about ad networks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41273087)

Almost a decade later, I met someone in a bar and it turned out she was a long-time member of my site. We got to talking about it for awhile and when I brought up advertising, she paused and said that she actually had never even noticed that there was no advertising on the site. I couldn't believe it. I feel so accosted by advertising every fucking where I turn that I sure as hell notice it on sites and appreciate the lack of it on others. And here, I discovered that regular people neither give a shit nor even notice whether there are or aren't any ads.

When she doesn't notice whether there are ads it is another example that ads are useless anyway.

Re:We care about ad networks? (2)

Kidbro (80868) | about 2 years ago | (#41272643)

We care that they care. If they choose to ignore DNT due to Microsoft's actions (or rather, probably deliberate attempt to make the feature ignored) we do care. We prefer that the ad networks honor DNT, and they might, if it's not turned on by default.
It's that simple.

Re:We care about ad networks? (4, Insightful)

Celarent Darii (1561999) | about 2 years ago | (#41272703)

You think ad networks will be the one who honor DNT? The very same people who profit by tracking?

Frankly I think the whole thing would be better if adblock was just installed by default in every browser.

Ads are nothing less than visual pollution. Tracking is also one of the reasons that we have cookies and all the other security problems with the web. HTTP was meant to be a stateless protocol and should remain so.

Re:We care about ad networks? (1)

Splab (574204) | about 2 years ago | (#41272747)

If it's something you opt into, then yes. It would be in their interest to avoid harsher requirements from governments, when questioned they would be able to just point at the optional flag and say there's no need for legislation. However when it's on by default it will hurt too much ...

Re:We care about ad networks? (5, Insightful)

moronoxyd (1000371) | about 2 years ago | (#41273101)

Tracking should be something users should have to opt in to, not out of.

Re:We care about ad networks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41273115)

I didn't opt into tracking. It is a big data privacy invasion and should be opt-in instead of opt-out. And you can't expect users to manually surf to the opt-out pages of all the tracker networks (Ghostery currently lists 495 advertisers and 234 trackers).

Re:We care about ad networks? (1)

Goaway (82658) | about 2 years ago | (#41273083)

You think ad networks will be the one who honor DNT?

Uh, yes, that is the entire point of DNT. It has no other use than as a flag for ad network to honor.

Re:We care about ad networks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41272717)

We prefer that the ad networks honor DNT, and they might, if it's not turned on by default.

Why do you think Microsoft's turning it on by default?

Re:We care about ad networks? (4, Insightful)

oldlurker (2502506) | about 2 years ago | (#41272787)

We care that they care. If they choose to ignore DNT due to Microsoft's actions (or rather, probably deliberate attempt to make the feature ignored) we do care. We prefer that the ad networks honor DNT, and they might, if it's not turned on by default. It's that simple.

The moment a number of users started to turn on DNT ad networks would find a reason to not honor it anyway. It seems DNT was a privacy standard built on the peculiar premise that it only works as long as it stays unknown to most users ('if few enough know about enabling DNT then maybe the ad networks will leave us that do alone').

Re:We care about ad networks? (1)

Seumas (6865) | about 2 years ago | (#41272873)

I will honor not breaking into your house, but only if you leave your house unlocked by default.

Frankly, they can do whatever the fuck they want. I've been blocking ads since the last century and this bullshit won't change anything.

Re:We care about ad networks? (2)

bloodhawk (813939) | about 2 years ago | (#41272891)

This is just fucked up. It should always be assumed someone wants privacy unless explicitly stated. If ad networks believe otherwise then it is time for government to step in with laws that require them to respect a users privacy by default.

Re:We care about ad networks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41272893)

Well put. Mr. Fielding really screwed this one up. Just exactly decided that the default behavior on the web should be privacy invasion (sorry, obviously I meant to say "personalization")?

If Apache truly does not tolerate abuse of standards, how about not tolerating the ORIGINAL abuse of standards--the use of cookies and other state maintaining mechanisms to serve targeted third party ads in the first place. Those standards were never meant for that purpose. They were abused by slimy ad agencies, but nobody went after them and now look at the sorry state of the web.

  Ironic that Microsoft ends up coming down on the side of real people, doubtless for their own reasons of course, but notable since it so rarely happens with them.

Next of course comes the popularization for non-geeks of the various "patches" for IE that will change the user agent string to appear to be something else, followed closely by a patch to Apache to see through that, etc. If you think about it, anybody who would change their browser like that is in fact expressing a preference...

But, if advertisers and their cheerleaders want a war, fine. I don't block ads much because like a lot of people I learn to ignore them, or to go somewhere else if that is annoying to do. Time to change that, and for us all to show our non geek friends how also. If ad supported "content" vanishes, we'll all be better off anyway.

Re:We care about ad networks? (1)

Compaqt (1758360) | about 2 years ago | (#41272949)

I don't quite know if we care about them, but just speaking about customized ads: I've been finding them quite useful of late.

For a long time I was using a dual Chromium/Chrome setup: No Javascript in the former and the majority of browsing in that, and only using Javascript on the latter when necessary for a specific site.

I got a new, faster computer and installed Ubuntu anew on it using Chromium with Javascript on. So I got to experience the web with custom ads.

I find it somewhat useful. For example I see a lot of ads for iWeb, Softlayer, and other hosting providers. I'm in the market for that, and so I don't think that's really bad, either.

What would be the point of showing rec vehicle ads to me?

Anyway, clear out your cookies on a regular basis, and you should be fine.

It does not protect anyone's privacy... (4, Informative)

Neil_Brown (1568845) | about 2 years ago | (#41272507)

It does not protect anyone's privacy unless the recipients believe it was set by a real human being, with a real preference for privacy over personalization

By being set, it protects my privacy as long as "recipients" abide by it without question — it only becomes an issue when "recipients" qualify when they will abide by it.

If active choice is not an option, a default in favour of not tracking seems a better position to me but, then again, I am not an ad network executive.

Re:It does not protect anyone's privacy... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41272773)

The point is, DNT only works, at present, on a voluntary basis. As you say, your stance (privacy by default) is not what any ad company will voluntarily choose -- but as long as only a few users opt-in, it can make sense to roll with it for good PR, and to keep the people who care about privacy placated so they don't agitate for privacy regulations the ad men would have to comply with.

It does not protect anyone's privacy unless the recipients believe it was set by a real human being, with a real preference for privacy over personalization

Yeah, that is bull. The recipients don't care that it's set by a real human being, they care that it's set on a small enough fraction of UAs that the PR is worth more than the value of the data they forgo. The former (for now) satisfies the latter, but if enough people started setting it, it'd still be too many, and they'd start ignoring it.

Now you may (as I do) consider the whole situation laughable, because it by design secures privacy for a few by throwing the masses to the wolves, but that's the system we have, and IE's default breaks the conditions under which that system can continue to exist. There's only three ways it can play out (so long as it's the same voluntary cooperation):

(A) ad networks see IE's market share as "too much", disregard DNT altogether.
(B) ad networks see IE's market share as acceptable losses and continue to respect DNT across the board; Firefox etc. eventually copy IE's default; ad networks then disregard DNT altogether.
(C) ad networks see IE's market share as "too much", disregard DNT only on IE, nobody copies IE -- at the very least the system continues to work for people who care enough to set DNT on non-IE UAs, and there's the possibility IE switches back to opt-in DNT, after which the ad networks will restore the status quo.

A and B are total losses (of the voluntary scheme; the aftermath may or may not result in new privacy regulations); C maintains the status quo for many users, and has the possibility to return to status quo across the board.

By being set, it protects my privacy as long as "recipients" abide by it without question — it only becomes an issue when "recipients" qualify when they will abide by it.

Oh, come off it. It protects your privacy when those qualifications don't affect you. So don't run IE, and it still protects your privacy. Now if you meant "it protects everyone's privacy as long as "recipients" abide by it without question" , then yes. But since we all know the DNT system is designed to operate by throwing ignorant or apathetic individuals to the wolves, protesting that it doesn't protect everyone's privacy is kinda disingenuous.

Re:It does not protect anyone's privacy... (1, Troll)

Neil_Brown (1568845) | about 2 years ago | (#41272917)

Interesting points — thanks!

How it seems... (4, Interesting)

p0p0 (1841106) | about 2 years ago | (#41272509)

How it seems to me, in a simplified way, is that advertisers feel they have the right to serve you ads. Off the bat, I disagree with this notion, however I do see that without ads many websites would not be around or would be forced to hide behind a paywall.
At the same time, what guarantee do advertisers give users that their ads are not a potential attack vector, or what standard do they follow that their ads are not intrusive and degrade the performance of a users machine or overly distract and irritate the users? How invasive do their ads and data collection get to be?

Overall, I see where they are coming from but at the same time all I hear is a bunch of self-entitled whiners. Is there any good reason to instantly get tracked as soon as you visit your first website, or should you be allowed to later reveal yourself to the world if you so desire the features this advertises and data miners claim to provide? The most obvious being targeted ads and more relevant searches when using Google.

Re:How it seems... (3, Insightful)

Stormthirst (66538) | about 2 years ago | (#41272599)

At the same time, what guarantee do advertisers give users that their ads are not a potential attack vector, or what standard do they follow that their ads are not intrusive and degrade the performance of a users machine or overly distract and irritate the users? How invasive do their ads and data collection get to be?

So all adverts then.

I have ad-blocking on by default. There are only a couple of sites where I specifically allow them to be shown, because as you point out some sites can't exist without them. I don't like adverts, and I go out of my way to avoid buying anything that is "advertised". If I want something, I'll go looking for it, research it, and the buy it.

I don't take calls from cold callers either - I think they are as distracting, irritating and privacy invading as adverts on websites.

Re:How it seems... (0)

Graham J - XVI (1076671) | about 2 years ago | (#41272641)

Totally agree.

Re:How it seems... (4, Insightful)

Motard (1553251) | about 2 years ago | (#41272621)

Tracking is not required to serve ads. I don't mind seeing billboards on the side of the road, but if the billboard is photographing my license plate and sending that to a central server, I have a problem with that.

Re:How it seems... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41272767)

Exactly the point I was going to make - you don't need to be tracked to for the ads to be displayed. It's just less effective that way, because the advertiser does not know your lifestyle and preferences. Tracking can be beneficial for both the advertiser and the user - we all like to be offered relevant content, and the advertiser likes to offer it to people who he thinks will be interested. The problem is NOT EVERYBODY likes to be followed around and have a good piece of their life noted down in a central database.

My opinion is that the default option should always be choice, and will I always oppose having someone make the decision for me. And everyone else should learn that having a choice matters.

Re:How it seems... (4, Insightful)

martin-boundary (547041) | about 2 years ago | (#41273039)

Tracking can be beneficial for both the advertiser and the user - we all like to be offered relevant content, and the advertiser likes to offer it to people who he thinks will be interested.

No, we do NOT. We do NOT all like to be offered RELEVANT content. That is one of the insidious fallacies that ad peddlers (and Google is a prime offender) like to claim so they can justify their practices.

Ads are noise, whether they are relevant or not. Take your favourite kind of music, say your favourite songs from your favourite band. Do you want to hear those songs ALL THE TIME? While you're driving to work, while working, after work when watching TV, etc? Clearly NOT.

NEARLY ALL THE TIME, PEOPLE DON'T WANT ADVERTISING, RELEVANT OR NOT (caps to make it easy on the stupid Googlebot ;-)

The whole idea that we need to be aware of available choices and having choices is good is bullshit. What we need is to be able to control our environment, and if we want choices we'll ask our friends first, thanks very much.

Re:How it seems... (2)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 2 years ago | (#41272669)

I do see that without ads many websites would not be around or would be forced to hide behind a paywall...

Good riddance to 'em. This crap is clogging the tubes.They can serve up static ads on their own damn servers, instead of bouncing us back and forth amongst a boatload of ad servers.

  Quit your shillin'. I have no obligation to let them infect my machine, or know anything about me if I don't want. Obviously this 'DNT' thing is worthless. I'll stop them the old fashion way by blocking their servers.

Re:How it seems... (2)

Compaqt (1758360) | about 2 years ago | (#41273021)

The attack vector argument is a very good one.

I've seen multiple instances of malware-laden ads being served by "mainstream" ad networks on multiple sub-1000 Alexa sites.

Some or another advertiser throws up some script (by design or not), and suddenly, you're getting pwned.

DNT is a farse anyway (1)

evanh (627108) | about 2 years ago | (#41272521)

If you want to be a good netisen developer, and support those that don't want/care about personalisation, then how about making an effort to support scriptless browsing?

The only way to protect your privacy... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41272529)

... is to use PlainBoards [plainboards.com] .

Does it really work? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41272539)

A cynical person could think that it's Microsoft trying to make DNT completely useless. Rather than mostly useless.

A roundabout way of saying that DNT is... (4, Insightful)

John Hasler (414242) | about 2 years ago | (#41272555)

...useless and silly.

Re:A roundabout way of saying that DNT is... (3, Informative)

Moxon (139555) | about 2 years ago | (#41272775)

Well, yes. Expecting ad agencies to honor DNT seems about as clever as firewalling based on the April fool's "evil bit". In both cases, the people doing something you don't want have to choose to honor your wish. Good luck with that.

Marketroids? (2)

19061969 (939279) | about 2 years ago | (#41272557)

So let's see if I have this straight? The marketroids are saying that, by their default, I want to hear all the crap they are paid to push and unless I explictly say, "get lost', they'll continue to bug me until I collapse under the weight of junk product info?

Did Bill Hicks have a great point?

Way to go (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41272561)

I'd like to hear Mr. Fielding's estimate of the percentage of users who want to be tracked by advertisers. My own estimate is zero.

You are not fighting the good fight here, Roy.

You have free speech (1)

santax (1541065) | about 2 years ago | (#41272573)

But if you say another word we will take it away...

DNT fails, film at 11 (1)

SirGarlon (845873) | about 2 years ago | (#41272603)

This means advertisers will be ignoring the DNT altogether no matter how a particular browser is set up.

No surprise there. The only unknown was how the advertisers were going to rationalize that.

So in short (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41272613)

Sounds like Roy is an arsehole who wants to help kill his own joke of a standard. Good to know.

Two wrongs do not make a right (4, Insightful)

another random user (2645241) | about 2 years ago | (#41272627)

Ignoring the issue around if IE10 should set the DNT flag by default or not, this patch only makes the situation worse.

With this patch, even if the user has explicitly chosen to set the DNT flag, the server will ignore it. They claim this patch has to be done because IE 10 ignores part of the spec:

"Key to that notion of expression is that it must reflect the user's preference, not the preference of some institutional or network-imposed mechanism outside the user's control."

This patch however also ignores this same element of the spec, in that no matter what the user may or may not of done, there will be a "mechanism outside the user's control" (the Apache server) which decides on what they want the preference to be.

I do agree that the DNT setting should be a user choice, perhaps given when the user first installs the browser as well as having the option to change it at any time, but to me this is not the right response to having a default set - although I'm sure if the default setting was that tracking was allowed, the add people would for some reason not be complaining about having a default...

Re:Two wrongs do not make a right (2)

John Hasler (414242) | about 2 years ago | (#41272707)

This patch however also ignores this same element of the spec, in that no matter what the user may or may not of done, there will be a "mechanism outside the user's control" (the Apache server) which decides on what they want the preference to be.

DNT is purely advisory. Advertisers who want to ignore it are going to configure their servers to do so. If it is too hard to do so with Apache they'll use somthing else.

Re:Two wrongs do not make a right (5, Interesting)

Likes Microsoft (662147) | about 2 years ago | (#41272851)

Advertisers and sites that depend on them don't want to admit that choosing to use a certain browser and allowing itts default settings *is* a choice. They are also free to request the user to turn DNT off before they serve up key features. They apparently *really* don't like the idea of having to explicitly ask, "can I follow you wherever you go after this"?

Just stick it in the EULA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41272629)

That way it won't be on be default; it will only be turned on when the user manually turns it on by hitting "accept".

I remember same debate about pop-up blockers (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41272649)

There were many of the same arguments to why pop-up blockers should not block popups by default, but only if it was set by the user and represented the active preference of the user. That websites were dependent upon such tactics to get necessary revenue to serve us content, so it shouldn't be undermined.

Re:I remember same debate about pop-up blockers (1)

Celarent Darii (1561999) | about 2 years ago | (#41272755)

And yet now almost all major browsers block popups by default.

DNT in some ways was the last resort for ad companies. In the near future all browsersmnow come with adblock. It would be interesting, in the current Apple-Google war, if Apple made Safari block all adds by default. I for one would welcome the web without all the visual pollution.

not surprised, don't really care (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41272657)

When they can override my HOSTS, peerblock, and/or AdBlock along with NoScript I might care.

Good luck, bitches.

Apache is p0wn3d (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41272665)

How sad that even open source software ends up being p0wn3d by advertisers.

MS aren't doing it for altruism anyway (0)

DrXym (126579) | about 2 years ago | (#41272681)

Microsoft are setting DNT on Windows 8 (and by extension their phones and tablets) so that competing advertising services like Google et al are shut out of their ecosystem. I bet whatever terms and conditions pop up when a Windows 8 starts for the first time, or via those Bing apps means that the DNT setting don't apply to Microsoft itself.

Re:MS aren't doing it for altruism anyway (2)

bloodhawk (813939) | about 2 years ago | (#41272855)

The DNT setting applies to everyone, and ironically it appears MS are about the only ones that abide by it. I having DNT by default seems to me to be the intelligent choice, The default should always err on the side of a users privacy. Why the fuck are people suddenly supporting the right to be tracked??? You should require explicit permissions from the person in order to track them.

Re:MS aren't doing it for altruism anyway (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41273023)

It just applies to tracking over the web. A huge number of users will be using Windows, and a huge number will be using Internet Explorer, and MS writes Internet Explorer so still has the ability to track you. They are building in things in like the Windows Store where most apps will be downloaded too.

Re:MS aren't doing it for altruism anyway (1, Interesting)

oldlurker (2502506) | about 2 years ago | (#41272979)

Microsoft are setting DNT on Windows 8 (and by extension their phones and tablets) so that competing advertising services like Google et al are shut out of their ecosystem. I bet whatever terms and conditions pop up when a Windows 8 starts for the first time, or via those Bing apps means that the DNT setting don't apply to Microsoft itself.

Actually, it seems IE10-team has a pretty independent focus on user experience. On my Windows 8 test machine it has proactively several times recommended to remove addins from Microsoft to speed up performance (from Bing, from Windows Live, from Office!). I'm guessing those other MS divisions must be livid. I know we've loved to make fun of IE for quite some time, but it is a good thing that IE10 is shaping up quite nicely (we don't want to replace "made for IE6" with "made for webkit", and you can see what more is coming at http://html5labs.interoperabilitybridges.com/ [interopera...ridges.com]

You will be tracked (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41272711)

Just like your mom ignores your "do not disturb" sign when you are fapping.

So when is it a default setting, mr. Fielding? (5, Interesting)

benjymouse (756774) | about 2 years ago | (#41272723)

When using IE10 for the first time (per user) you get a screen where you can choose "express settings". The screen clearly spells out what that means, *including* what DNT will be set to. Arguably, the user *has* made a decision by selecting express settings. How does Roy Fieldings patch determine how much of that text the user read before continuing?

And how does the patch determine when a user *explicitly* sets the DNT.

Yes, Microsoft probably does this because it will annoy Google and hurt them more than it will hurt Bing. But at the same time it does help protect users' privacy. What a joke if Apache accepts this patch. What a sell-out. Disgusting.

How is this any different... (1)

mschaffer (97223) | about 2 years ago | (#41272737)

How is this any different from Google circumventing the default privacy settings in Apple's Safari?
Google was sued here. Since Apache isn't a company, is this the way for the likes of Google and others to get their bidding done?

Do not track (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about 2 years ago | (#41272751)

Should be standard procedure, and we shouldn't need some new protocol to argue over.

Its invasive, and wrong. Period.

Re:Do not track (0)

O('_')O_Bush (1162487) | about 2 years ago | (#41273035)

And yet you agree to it when you chose to use their service. It is not their fault that you failed to read the TOS or EULA. That you agreed to.

Re:Do not track (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about 2 years ago | (#41273119)

I see you *totally* missed my point.

Let me make it even simpler, so that perhaps you can understand: Even the act of asking for permission is wrong. Even the act of wanting to ask for permission is wrong.

What if MS... (1)

Eirenarch (1099517) | about 2 years ago | (#41272753)

I would laugh so much if MS include an ad block in IE and turn it on by default.

Legally, DNT *IS* the default (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41272757)

In case it has faded from people's memory, PRIVACY IS A FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN RIGHT [youthforhumanrights.org] - enshrined in laws across the planet.

That wasn't some arbitrary, weird, one-man-and-his-hobby-horse decision, this was the result of a serious amount of very costly and capable people sitting together and hammering out basic principles. A bit like the US Constitution that US politicians appear so keen to ignore.

So, from that principle, not wanting to be tracked IS the legally correct default, DNT should have never been needed, only a "DT" ("Do track, because I don't care about my rights"). If Mr Roy Fielding is writing a patch to override what should have been a default to start with (the jammering and global breaking of this principle by marketing people across the globe does not define breaking the law as rule), then Mr Roy Fielding is effectively on his way to break the law in practically any part of Europe.

DNT is an excuse to casually ignore the fact that fundamental principles were already broken by companies raking it in on the back of breaking fundamental principles (yes, Google and Facebook, I'm looking at you).

Let me put it this way - if this patch goes live anywhere in Europe, a complaint to the relevant government department in charge of Data Protection WILL be made. No ifs, no buts, no maybes.

It's time we start working on people's rights - because with such idiocy and cow-towing to money nobody is going to do it for you.

Re:Legally, DNT *IS* the default (1)

O('_')O_Bush (1162487) | about 2 years ago | (#41273001)

Those principles went the way of the dodo the day that the EULA was invented.

Shouldn't worry about IE 10 (0)

postmortem (906676) | about 2 years ago | (#41272811)

Microsoft wants back on browser market at any cost. So this was thing to differentiate IE from rest of pack.

Other one was to support only few Windows versions. Haha. How stupid. They want to win the browser war by not supporting OSes that half of people have.

choose before installing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41272819)

Isn't it choice when the user picks which browser to install. If MS is offering DNT turned on and advertising it that way maybe it because that's what people want and are choosing their setting by their choice of browser?

Who are the Good Guys anymore? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41272833)

Never thought I'd see the day when Apache is the Bad Guy vs. Microsoft.

Re:Who are the Good Guys anymore? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41272925)

And this is not that day. Microsoft is just trying to take a jab at google, totally disregarding that the way they chose to do it will actually deprive users of the DNT option alltogether. Microsoft cares about our privacy as long as it is at Google's expense.

Do Not Serve Me Up Some Movie Trailer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41272933)

I am the first to admit that I hate adverts, but understand that sites need them to exists.

Unfortunately I use AdBlock as standard these days - not because I don't want the ads, but I got so fed up with seeing adverts playing bandwidth hogging movies (such as trailers)

I would uninstall AdBlock tomorrow if there was some code of conduct drawn up such as:
* Ads can only animate for a fixed length of time (say 5 seconds)
* Ads do not get in the way of me viewing my content (such as floating ads I have to click to get rid of them)
* Ads will only start loading after MY content has finished loading.
* Total file size of ALL adverts on a single page is limited (to say 150Kb)

I doubt any advert sellers would ever agree to this though.

fielding is a whore (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41272973)

and microsoft is absolutely in the right on this one (for once). The only problem with the whole dnt thing is that it's up to the server whether they respect the header or not. So of course those in favour of profiling and cookies will do everything they can to serve targetted ads.

The easy way around (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41272987)

Use DNT+ with FF, problem solved.

DNT not ON by default (4, Informative)

Toreo asesino (951231) | about 2 years ago | (#41273053)

Article is misleading. DNT is enabled if you setup Windows 8 with express settings, at which point it actively states DNT will be set 'on'. Until that point there is no configured values. This is Apache caving into advertiser pressure, pure & simple IMO.

IE10 to use Tor by default (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41273055)

It could happen.

DNT is failing by design. (2)

someones (2687911) | about 2 years ago | (#41273065)

If you do not want to be tracked, DO NOT SEND REQUESTS.
But sending requests with a "please handle this one but dont use it to track me or put it in logfiles" comment ... did anyone *really* expect that to work?

How much tracking is done via log file analysis alone?
Not Logging requests that the user specifies makes it a standard for script kiddies only.

If it was intended for just not putting a cookie... well fail?
Thats what browser settings are for and what could have been done with more aggressive browser settings alone.

Sorry to say that, but this whole standard seems to not ever made sense at all...

Sue Apache out of Existence then (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41273113)

The Apache Org needs to reject this patch immediately as it opens to many potential liabilities. The first is that any site that includes this patch then provides a direct method of attack against Apache for violating the EU's privacy Regs/Rules/Laws and the U.S. for Misuse of Comptuer Resources as the only way they'll be able to ensure that "I" Set the damn option will be to read my registry w/o permission.

Personally, I like the fact that it'll be on by default in IE as it means I wont have to remember to enable it. Another reason the Apache Org Needs to reject this patch is the fact that current Regs in the U.S. have it as Opt Out for Advertisers and by ignoring this, they're deciding on the behalf of all advertisers to Violate that Agreement between the Advertisers and the DoJ in regards to this entire issue and risk having the Feds shut the project down, forcing everyone over to IIS and Microsoft.

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