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W3C Rejects Ad Industry's Do-Not-Track Proposal

Soulskill posted about 9 months ago | from the don't-come-'round-here-with-that-nonsense dept.

Advertising 162

itwbennett writes "The W3C's Tracking Protection Working Group, which is mainly concerned with standardizing the mechanisms for server-side compliance with do-not-track requests, has rejected a proposal by from the Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA) that would have allowed advertisers to continue profiling users who had asked not to be tracked. The proposal would also have allowed them to 'retarget' ads to those users by showing ads relevant to one site or transaction on all subsequent sites they visited, according to the co-chairs of the W3C's Tracking Protection Working Group. The working group co-chairs also said that they planned to reject proposals similar to those made by the DAA."

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162 comments

Do Not Track... (5, Insightful)

Synerg1y (2169962) | about 9 months ago | (#44301903)

The most useless checkbox in the history of browsers.

Re:Do Not Track... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44302011)

it says a lot for the people that bought into the DNT, they'll buy into just about anything. Uncheck your third party cookies in your browser and that should take care of them tracking you to other sites. I have a multi purpose firewall that kept finding tracking cookies until I cut out third party cookies now it doesn't find any.

Re:Do Not Track... (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 9 months ago | (#44302399)

it says a lot for the people that bought into the DNT, they'll buy into just about anything. Uncheck your third party cookies in your browser and that should take care of them tracking you to other sites. I have a multi purpose firewall that kept finding tracking cookies until I cut out third party cookies now it doesn't find any.

Your measures are... outmoded [eff.org] .

Sure, cookies make things markedly easier(since data persistence is what they do, in a sort of feeble, hacky way); but there are so many more bits of information available if you want to fingerprint a user. Even better, the ones that squirm the hardest against the easy methods tend to end up with the most unusual configurations.

Re:Do Not Track... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44302763)

Funniest thing there... most of those tests say "no javascript" next to them. Those only provide the 1.75 bits of identifying information contained in the middle finger.

The cookie test (cookies are enabled) only gives 0.44 bits of identifying information.

My worst individual test result is a 1:395 user agent uniqueness with 8.6 bits of identifying information.

The total comes to 12.6 bits of identifying information.

I'm not terribly worried. 12.6 bits is somewhere in the range of 4096-8192 unique values. In a global population of 7 billion, that means that this particular Spartacus is one of (at best) 854,492 possible Spartacii. How good are they at a police lineup larger than the population of Alaska (estimated at 731,449 in 2012)? Sucks to be in marketing, I guess.

Re: Do Not Track... (1)

Bradmont (513167) | about 9 months ago | (#44302879)

Every time I've tried that thing, my signature has been unique. I'd love a Firefox extension to homogenise those data...

Re: Do Not Track... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44303771)

Every time I've tried that thing, my signature has been unique. I'd love a Firefox extension to homogenise those data...

I'd rather have a plug-in or extension that fills tracking cookies with random garbage data.

Re: Do Not Track... (4, Interesting)

markjhood2003 (779923) | about 9 months ago | (#44304001)

Firegloves: http://fingerprint.pet-portal.eu/?menu=6 [pet-portal.eu]

A Firefox plugin to impede fingerprinting-based tracking while maintaining browsing experience. You may download and install the demo version of the extension by clicking the link below. This is not the final version; it is recommended to check this page regularly for updates. We welcome your remarks and suggestions - you may contact us using the Contact page.

I've used it and it works pretty well for a demo.

Re:Do Not Track... (2)

Lennie (16154) | about 9 months ago | (#44303289)

Evercookie and profiling prove that anything technical can be used to track you on the web.

If you don't want to be tracked, you'll need every browser in the world to be the same implementation (make, brand, code and version !) on the same screen on the same hardware and using Tor.

Then, maybe, all browsers will look the same and they'll not be able to track you.

So if you believe that, then there is only one solution, a way for the user to communicate to the site he/she doesn't want to be tracked and a law which forces companies to comply with the wishes of the users.

Do Not Track... (2)

evanh (627108) | about 9 months ago | (#44302033)

Yep. Turning off scripting is the only answer.

Re:Do Not Track... (2)

lart2150 (724284) | about 9 months ago | (#44302139)

That only works if the ad requires javascipt a lot of them are just nested iframes. I've been very happy with the noscript iframe setting! most sites only use iframes now for ads and if I need it I can still enable it for just the domain that I need it for.

Re:Do Not Track... (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44302337)

Request Policy complements noscript quite nicely, as it allows you to restrict access to third party domains. E.g., by default, requests from example.net to adserv.example.com are rejected.

Re:Do Not Track... (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44302155)

What do you think why Mozilla is going to remove exactly that option in the next release?

Re:Do Not Track... (2)

NewWorldDan (899800) | about 9 months ago | (#44302261)

Also, turn off 3rd party cookies. And run an ad blocker. That will substantially cut down on things. Until things eventually get integrated on the back end so that everything appears to be coming from the site that you're visiting. Like spam, it's an arms race. While spam is 99.8% solved, do not track will be much more challenging.

Re:Do Not Track... (2)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 9 months ago | (#44302379)

DNT is not more challenging for technical reasons. Today's ad blockers remove almost all advertising. The real challenge is politics: the popular browser makers are all in bed with the advertisers.

Re:Do Not Track... (2)

realityimpaired (1668397) | about 9 months ago | (#44302451)

The problem is, a certain amount of advertising is necessary to make ends meet. The content doesn't pay for itself, and the choices are either to put everything behind a paywall, or have advertising. The tracking/etc. is the ad industry's attempt to make advertising online more profitable: they have a *very* low clickthrough rate to begin with, and hope that by providing targetted advertising, they'll have a better return on investment, and can sell ad impressions for more money.

At least in theory. In practice, what they're tracking on people is downright creepy. I do run ad blockers, and cookie cleaners, and multiple other add-ons to prevent my browser from leaving any permanent traces from session to session. It's not because I find advertising specifically intrusive, it's because I don't like the tracking.

Re:Do Not Track... (4, Insightful)

sjames (1099) | about 9 months ago | (#44302809)

The problem there is that the advertisers forgot the old adage "you don't shit where you eat".

If they had simply shown a few ads and made sure their servers were up to the task, few if any would have even bothered with ad-blockers. But no, They had to plaster the page with jumping singing dancing ads that pop up and pop under and triple (or worse) the page load time. Then to top it off, they didn't even bother to make sure the ads weren't drive-by viruses or illegal scams.

Since all of that wasn't enough, they decided to also become internet stalkers.

It's only natural that people came to consider most any ad they see on the web to be a probable scam and to run ad blockers to avoid the assault on their senses and more that a few infections as well.

Then finally, when given a chance to restore some tiny shred of good will, they decided to ignore DNT.

Re:Do Not Track... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44302499)

There's no away around the browser makers working for advertisers, rather than their users, as long as we refuse to pay for browsers. If we pay for our browsers, the makers could aggressively block all advertising.

Re:Do Not Track... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44302981)

What are you talking about? Both the browser and the pages it views should be 100% free because I'm an entitled baby.

Not useless, but its usefulness is now over (5, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 9 months ago | (#44302141)

DNT had exactly one use: to determine whether or not advertisers respect the wishes of people who do not want their browsing habits tracked. The verdict is in, and to nobody's surprise advertisers have no respect for anyone. Now we know that we are justified in using ad-blocking plugins and building browsers that block ads by default.

Re:Not useless, but its usefulness is now over (2)

poetmatt (793785) | about 9 months ago | (#44302229)

the fact that people ever thought for a second that they shouldn't have the right to see what they're looking for on a website and not ads or other shit is the problem. It's like when people defend websites that threaten others, saying their ad revenue is the only way they survive when other options exist. Screw ads. Allow em when *you* choose because you're okay with it, not just because you dare to go to websites.

I encourage people to always adblock on techreport, because they threaten to nuke user accounts that talk about using adblocking. That's not the right approach.

Re:Not useless, but its usefulness is now over (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 9 months ago | (#44302387)

The problem is that people want content, they dont want to pay for it, and they also dont want advertising. Unfortunately, you cant have all 3.

to determine whether or not advertisers respect the wishes of people who do not want their browsing habits tracked. The verdict is in, and to nobody's surprise advertisers have no respect for anyone.

And shopkeepers have no respect for people who want goods without paying. If you dont want the advertising, dont consume content from an ad-supported site. Make your own webpage, social network, whatever-- thats a lot of the strength of the internet.

Re:Not useless, but its usefulness is now over (5, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 9 months ago | (#44302501)

You are acting like tracking and advertising are inseparable. They are not, you can advertise without tracking people and you can make money doing so. I do not want to be tracked, and the only technical solution at this point is to block advertisements -- because even loading a static image from an advertiser will be used as a data point to track me.

If a website wants me to view its ads, it should refuse the business of advertisers that create privacy-invading ads. If websites were standing up for their users they would not be at risk of becoming collateral damage in this fight.

Re:Not useless, but its usefulness is now over (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 9 months ago | (#44303127)

Tracking is done by the webmaster. The technical solution is to use a website whose webmaster isnt using tracking. Google Analytics doesnt accidentally find itself on a website; its placed there intentionally.

Re:Not useless, but its usefulness is now over (3, Informative)

foniksonik (573572) | about 9 months ago | (#44303505)

Analytics doesn't track you across websites. It really does very little beyond what server logs provide. The one advantage is a cookie that says you are a repeat visitor. Also it is a same domain cookie so no other sites can access it. Google does have access to the data but its not attached to a unique record so they can't build an individual profile for you.

The same is true for Coremetrics and Omniture.

Re:Not useless, but its usefulness is now over (1)

MtHuurne (602934) | about 9 months ago | (#44302627)

I agree that it's inconsistent to complain about ads on unpaid content. However, advertising does not require tracking. The page that the ad is served on is in many cases already sufficient context to deliver a relevant ad.

Re:Not useless, but its usefulness is now over (2)

foniksonik (573572) | about 9 months ago | (#44303695)

Retargeting is 5x more effective than context based ad targeting.

Here's why.

Imagine that you've just been shopping around for a new pair of shoes. You like Nike so you went to Nike.com. They set a remarketing cookie. You want to price compare and find more reviews, so off you go to Amazon. Then you get distracted by a book you want and forget about shoes.

The next day you hop online and go to a tech blog. They serve ads to pay the bills. Now the article you are reading has nothing to do with shoes ( its about online privacy and tracking tags) but look right there, an ad for Nike. Your memory kicks in and you recall shopping for shoes. You've already price compared and decided you're okay with Nikes prices and the reviews were good, so all that's left is to buy (that's internal dialogue). The Nike ad is right they so you click and then buy.

Was the retargeted ad helpful to you? Some would say yes. Was it invasive? Maybe. Did you buy a pair of shoes from the company that used retargeted ads, absolutely.

Re:Not useless, but its usefulness is now over (1)

UltraZelda64 (2309504) | about 9 months ago | (#44302457)

Good point, now if only all the browsers would remove this extra, completely useless code and maybe build in something that *really* works. Too bad the major ones would never have the balls to go the extra mile by introducing *real* anti-tracking (and anti-advertisement in general) features.

Re:Not useless, but its usefulness is now over (4, Informative)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 9 months ago | (#44302471)

DNT had exactly one use: to determine whether or not advertisers respect the wishes of people who do not want their browsing habits tracked. The verdict is in, and to nobody's surprise advertisers have no respect for anyone. Now we know that we are justified in using ad-blocking plugins and building browsers that block ads by default.

Careful, advertisers like Google have paid Adblock Plus to whitelist their ads [techcrunch.com] . Sure it's google ads today, but Google owns the vast majority of online ad networks and commands practically all the online ad markets, and if they're paying off the ad blockers to whitelist...

And of course, Google is naturally tracking you. Especially whitelisted.

I encourage people to always adblock on techreport, because they threaten to nuke user accounts that talk about using adblocking. That's not the right approach.

It depends. Sites depend on ads to pay for content and hosting, and many with "premium" options do not allow talk of ad blockers as well. Even reputable ones - like Ars Technica. Even the merest hint of ad blocking without whitelisting the site in question is out. I got banned for mentioning noscript and didn't even mention blocking the site's ads, just it happened to block a good chunk of ads.

Of course, one side effect of this is sites get desperate for money and they end up getting sold and re-sold to other companies. It's only a matter of time before pretty much online ads disappear as we know them because websites are all purchased up and owned by a few media conglomerates who bought them for the user information and all that.

Of course, the little guy with a blog who wants to make a couple of bucks won't be able to attract any advertisers because they all went to the big guys with their massive data pools from buying up websites left and right.

Re:Not useless, but its usefulness is now over (4, Informative)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 9 months ago | (#44302541)

Careful, advertisers like Google have paid Adblock Plus to whitelist their ads

Sure, but ABP has an easy-to-find checkbox to enable/disable whitelisted ads. There are also many other ad blockers out there that can be used if ABP ever stops working effectively (and being easy to configure).

Re:Do Not Track... (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 9 months ago | (#44302275)

The most useless checkbox in the history of browsers.

I figured that the second I saw the phrase, "server-side."

If it's not in the user's complete control, it's bullshit.

Re:Do Not Track... (4, Interesting)

UltraZelda64 (2309504) | about 9 months ago | (#44302345)

Yet, Mozilla seems hell-bent on supporting this destined-to-be-ignored flag, while they remove everything--even Javascript settings--from the GUI. Pure irony.

I do have the Do Not Track setting turned on, but only as a final "fuck off." My real lines of defense are disabled third-party cookies, NoScript, DoNotTrackMe and AdBlock Plus. Anyone who really trusts in that header is a nut.

Re:Do Not Track... (1)

Tom (822) | about 9 months ago | (#44303551)

You might want to reconsider your choice of ABP:

http://www.mobilegeeks.de/adblock-plus-undercover-einblicke-in-ein-mafioeses-werbenetzwerk/ [mobilegeeks.de]

Warning, long, investigative article in german.

Re:Do Not Track... (1)

chihowa (366380) | about 9 months ago | (#44304199)

Warning, long, investigative article in german.

Considering you're posting this to an English-language site frequented by people who have ADD and never RTFA, would you mind summing it up?

...oh look, a bird!

Re:Do Not Track... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44303689)

Ah but the point isn't to not be tracked, the point is politics... it's to reveal that trackers are brazen and that their talk of respect is just a lie. This allows Mozilla et al to marginalise them with clear evidence that they don't have users interests at heart (obvious but previously arguable) so this is politics that allows privacy advocates to greater sway over the W3C etc.

Re:Do Not Track... (1, Insightful)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 9 months ago | (#44302363)

It is now. Advertisers sound like they were willing to play along if W3C was up for some compromise. W3C tells them to go get stuffed, oh-and-will-you-please-respect-this-DNT-flag?

Talk about shooting yourself in the foot, any bets on whether the advertisers just take their ball, go home, and ignore any DNT requests?

Re:Do Not Track... (3, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 9 months ago | (#44302811)

Advertisers sound like they were willing to play along if W3C was up for some compromise

DNT is a compromise. If we were unwilling to compromise, we would build ad-blockers into browsers as a default, much like pop-up blocking ten years ago. It was because of people like you who would not stop whining about how important advertiser dollars are to keep the web alive that we even considered something like DNT. It was because advertisers promised that they really do respect our wishes, that ad blockers and legal restrictions on tracking are not needed, that DNT was ever considered by anyone.

The advertisers showed their true colors. They never wanted a compromise, they just wanted a facade that allows them to pretend they respect us while continuing to do what they have done all along.

Re:Do Not Track... (1)

sjames (1099) | about 9 months ago | (#44302893)

You missed the part about advertisers already refusing to respect the existing DNT flag and only being willing to cooperate at all if uit didn't actually require them to change anything in response to the flag.

W3C was right to tell them to get stuffed. Why let them do nothing and then pretend they somehow cooperated?

Re:Do Not Track... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44302615)

The most useless checkbox in the history of browsers.

Nope. I'm pretty sure the 'I Agree' checkbox used on all sorts of sites is more useless because we don't agree but simply check it so we can get on with our transactions and our lives.

Of course the second most uses checkbox on the internet is the one in surveys for 'I never watch internet porn', but that's a whole other thread.

Advertising is butts (4, Insightful)

Reverand Dave (1959652) | about 9 months ago | (#44301929)

Marketing departments are a bunch of assholes.

Re: Advertising is butts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44302161)

The thing about assholes is that everyone has one.

Re: Advertising is butts (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44302185)

And they're just like children. You love licking them. Children's assholes that is. Licking. Children.

Re: Advertising is butts (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44302239)

Over 9000 penises. And they're all raping children.

Re: Advertising is butts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44302199)

Which of course makes us all a bunch of assholes.
So be carefull who you call an asshole asshole!

Re:Advertising is butts (0)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 9 months ago | (#44302401)

Stop consuming ad-supported content and roll your own website.

Seriously, the entitlement mentality has gotten old.

Re:Advertising is butts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44302551)

i agree,
now if only websites uses HTTP_AUTH the problem is solved, simple really

Re:Advertising is butts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44302629)

It's not about entitlement or about ad-supported content, it is about privacy and targeted advertising.

  On one side, the DAA wants to keep track of every site you've visited, every search you've done, just so they can squeak a few more cents (dollars) out of your wallet.

  On the other side, you have folks that actually give a damn about their privacy and don't want some no-face corporation digging through their digital trail to know all about what you might want to buy.

  Personally, I'd agree with the OP. Marketings sole purpose is to do the best moneygrab they are able to, and the latest trend is specific catering to the individual. Imagine an amazon.com salesman following you around in a day of shopping, taking meticulous notes about that can of Kroger black beans you picked up, how long you looked at it, what store you were in, what time, etc... then the next day he jumps in your face waving 3 boxes of different types of beans... as you are at the post office buying stamps.

  Advertising is okay, if I'm looking at a video game website, i'd expect to see some ads about various video games. It's a whole different story if all of those adds suddenly become the past n months of my browsing history. How much of that profiling have they done? how much do they really know? who are they sharing it with?

Re:Advertising is butts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44302657)

Weird because I'm still served ads and tracked even for subscription content I paid for. Go fuck yourself, you shit for brains.

Re:Advertising is butts (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 9 months ago | (#44303237)

Then stop visiting those sites if you dont like the terms. This isnt rocket science. If you go to a supermarket and they insist on following you down the aisle making suggestions, the solution isnt to pass a law, its to stop going to that supermarket.

Stop trying to burden society with more rules just because u cant be arsed to change your browsing habits, or because you think you are entitled to a private website's content.

Re:Advertising is butts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44304023)

Then stop visiting those sites if you dont like the terms.

You seem to have missed my point. You falsely claim that the only reason people could complain about ads and tracking is because they think they are "entitled" to content. The problem is that your claim is without any real merit.

If you go to a supermarket and they insist on following you down the aisle making suggestions, the solution isnt to pass a law, its to stop going to that supermarket.

Where did I ever suggest someone to pass a law? Also where is the W3C seeking to "pass a law"? Do you have an actual argument other than ad homs and strawmen?

Stop trying to burden society with more rules just because u cant be arsed to change your browsing habits, or because you think you are entitled to a private website's content.

So not wanting to be tracked and monitored is "burdening society"? Jesus fuck you're a retard.

Re:Advertising is butts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44302799)

You would think the net didn't exist before the marketing scumbags found it.

You would be WRONG.

Re:Advertising is butts (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 9 months ago | (#44303261)

The vast majority of the content consumed on the net today is adsupported, and would either be paywalled or non-existent without ads. Youtube? Hulu? Facebook? Slashdot? Their reasons for existence are to make money, and they do that mostly through ads (hulu also has a paywall section).

All those news sites you read-- you think theyre there as a public service? For all the complaining that people do about NYTimes paywalls, they sure dont seem to want to even contemplate the possibility of ads; one wonders what is in this enterprise for the NYTimes if they cant paywall, and they cant advertise.

Go build your own website, stop demanding other people make content for you on your terms.

Re:Advertising is butts (1)

lgw (121541) | about 9 months ago | (#44304007)

There's a real difference between blocking ads and blocking tracking. I have little interest in blocking non-animated ads, but I don't want to be tracked. Sadly, the easiest way to block the tracking is to block all ads.

Re:Advertising is butts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44303201)

Funny, most of the content I consume and are tracked for is content from my peers (facebook, 9gag, slashdot, instagram). I agree that there is a degree of entitlement of the infrastructure but most of my peers don't know better and can't effectively do all the things the do on facebook on a different platform, have you ever tried to configure CalDAV? not the hardest thing to do right? well look it from the perspective of a regular user and facebook or gmail provide a service not easily replaceable. I'm not against ads, specially if they provide a useful service for free, but this has nothing to do with the privacy invasion.

Re:Advertising is butts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44303231)

Huh? Not him, but I have no problem with ads. I watch live TV, read some magazines, and listen to the radio. I get advertised to all the time. I'll even admit that it works. I will explicitly disable ad blocking on sites that I frequent, if they only host static ads from their own servers.

I do not, however, support this shit. That gets blocked. Hell, privacy isn't even the most immediate concern. It simply isn't safe to browse without at least an adblocker and something to keep javascript and flash from compromising your system.

Think of it this way: Any money you would have earned from ads? Consider it my consulting fee for having to go out of my way to secure myself and others from your industry's malicious behavior. I didn't agree to this. There was no privacy policy presented, no opt-in button. I don't even have to visit your page to be tracked by you. How is that acceptable? Fuck you.

"Entitlement"? Horseshit.

Content providers could easily put up a paywall. Or a trivial landing page to test for adblockers. But they don't. Instead, they continue providing a free-of-charge service because the traffic and good PR is still a net positive for business.

And ask yourself this: Who exactly is in the "Digital Advertising Alliance"? You don't know because they're a shell organization for the real players to hide behind. They don't want their names to be associated with this disgusting shit, but they're too greedy to stop doing it.

adblock everything (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44301945)

i can't wait till augmented reality so I can adblock in meatspace as well

imagine how peaceful and wonderful the world will be when you don't have to shut down your senses because someone is always trying to get in your face to sell you something

Re:adblock everything (1)

Z00L00K (682162) | about 9 months ago | (#44302001)

In some cases it should be permitted to shoot sellers that are getting too close. At least with a paintball gun.

Did the W3C say (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44301961)

"Fuck You" or the polite version of "Fuck You"?

Re:Did the W3C say (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44302225)

It sounded more like the polite version of "Go suck a dick, and if you think any similar shenanigans are going to get by, keep on sucking it."

Trust (1)

statusbar (314703) | about 9 months ago | (#44301963)

What is the problem here? Why couldn't the web browser just make sure that the cookies are passed via RFC3514 ( http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc3514.txt [ietf.org] ) compliant packets (with the E bit field set to FALSE) if the advertiser is trustable?

Lack of Trust (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 9 months ago | (#44302183)

"Do Not Track" is pretty clear. It means "do not track," without exceptions, without room for debate.

This fiasco has basically proved what everyone knew from the beginning, which is that advertisers do not give a damn about people who do not want to be tracked. Luckily, we have a technical solution to the problem: ad blockers. Much like spam filters and pop-up blockers, ad blockers are the solution to advertisers who have no respect and who cannot be trusted.

Re:Lack of Trust (0)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 9 months ago | (#44302427)

Spam and website ads are basically polar opposites.

SPAM is unsolicited email sent on your dollar, consuming your resources.
Ads are implicitly requested when you visit an ad-supported site, and are sent to pay for the resources YOU consume by visiting the site.

People making a big deal about this should perhaps rethink why they are entitled to someone else's work (the website) without respecting their terms (the ads).

Re:Lack of Trust (4, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 9 months ago | (#44302655)

SPAM is unsolicited email sent on your dollar, consuming your resources.

When my CPU is spinning because of your Javascript-super-fancy-tracks-all-the-things advertisement, you are consuming my resources. When I have to download a megabyte of Javascript/Flash/whatever to see your ads, you are consuming my resources. When I have to spend time trying to navigate around annoying hover ads, you are consuming my resources.

At least when I receive spam, I know the spammer has no idea who I am or whether or not I opened their message. Website advertisers try hard to track everything, even when you are very clearly trying to stop them; that is what DNT has demonstrated.

Ads are implicitly requested when you visit an ad-supported site

No, the page is what is requested. My browser is not obligated to do anything at all with the webpage your server sends it. There is no implicit request; you explicitly asked my browser to request ads from the advertisers you choose to do business with.

People making a big deal about this should perhaps rethink why they are entitled to someone else's work (the website) without respecting their terms (the ads).

You put your work on the open web. You did not put it behind a paywall. You did not force me to view your ads before seeing your page.

Nobody wrote an ad blocker because they were angry about textual ads or banner ads. Ad blockers exists because the advertisers have no respect for anyone's desire to not be tracked, to not have hover ads, pop-ups, pop-unders, Flash, Java, and other adware annoyances. Advertisers have shot themselves in the foot with their own greed, and if your website is not saying, "No, I do not want you to piss off my users with these antics" then your website is part of the problem.

Re:Lack of Trust (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 9 months ago | (#44302885)

A webpage consists of multiple resources, often spread over multiple servers and delivered by multiple servers.

My browser is not obligated to do anything at all with the webpage your server sends it.

Thats true; you can filter the data with a large number of extensions, to strip out ads.

There is no implicit request;

Youre right-- its an explicit request. If you were to fire up wireshark, you would see zero requests coming from the website, and many coming from your machine to various web addresses-- including advertisers. That you dont understand the ramifications of your GET request isnt really relevant; thats how browsers work. If you want to write your own webbrowser that doesnt load third-party assets, go ahead, but be prepared for a lot of broken websites.

You put your work on the open web. You did not put it behind a paywall. You did not force me to view your ads before seeing your page.

I cant believe you are arguing this. There is no "open web" agreement; each website is its own dictatorship (if you've ever been on a forum you know this). Each site has its own terms, and on ad-supported sites the terms are advertising.

You seem to fundamentally not understand what the internet is-- its not some organization you join and have to pay dues for. Its a networked group of servers with their own rules and terms, and if you dont like the terms offered by one particular site thats no skin off of the operators back; you can hook your own server up and code your own site. Otherwise, stop pretending you get to mandate terms on work published on the internet, because you cant. And if you could, the end result would just be paywalls everywhere, or people deciding that its not worth their time creating content for no return.

Re:Lack of Trust (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44303699)

The matter of fact is that it doesn't really matter what the terms say since all the data is delivered anyway, I can do absolutely anything i want with that data if I am willing to face the consequences.

I enjoy breaking websites with my addons because it teaches me things and prevents me from pulling data from sources I didn't request it from. Just because I'm giving YOU a ride DOES NOT MEAN that I HAVE to give a ride to the 37 different strangers you bring along. With that being the case, I can chose to not let them ride by locking them out.

People blocking ads is NOT going to kill the internet. You are also a fool if you think people will stop creating just because there's no money in it for them.

Re:Lack of Trust (1)

sjames (1099) | about 9 months ago | (#44302993)

So if I run an ad-blocker so my browser doesn't request the ads, all is good?

I'm fine with actual ads on a website. It's the animated crap, the humongo flash programs and the bad attempts to give me a virus by tricking me into thinking I already have one, and burning up CPU cycles like it's a contest to see who can use the most that must go.

In return for website owners not getting too bent out of shape about that, I don't hold them responsible for the content of the ads that display on their site with their full consent.

Re:Trust (1)

Raistlin77 (754120) | about 9 months ago | (#44302281)

...if the advertiser is trustable?

Therein lies the problem.

There is no such thing as a trustworthy advertiser. Their profit is directly tied to ad views and they have repeatedly demonstrated that they have no respect for privacy or one's desire to not be force-fed their crap.

Is it true Apache webservers block DNT? (1)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about 9 months ago | (#44301969)

I heard somewhere that Apache webservers now explicitly block "Do Not Track" requests from IE browsers. If you can't even count on your webservers to comply with DNT, what good are standards going to do?

Re:Is it true Apache webservers block DNT? (4, Informative)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about 9 months ago | (#44302039)

Here [arstechnica.com] is an article on it from Ars Technica, for anyone who thinks I'm making this shit up.

Re:Is it true Apache webservers block DNT? (3, Insightful)

phizi0n (1237812) | about 9 months ago | (#44302041)

Apache ignores DNT from versions of IE that have it enabled by default because it's supposed to be something that the user specifically enables, not a blanket "hey ad industry, completely ignore this because it's always on" option.

Re:Is it true Apache webservers block DNT? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44302135)

Microsoft are still jealous of Google that nobody wants to buy any ads from them.

So starve the profits by enabling it by default, because that will work.

Now look what mess they caused. All they have done is harm a feature that could have been useful for public computers, business, school and so on.

Re:Is it true Apache webservers block DNT? (1, Interesting)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 9 months ago | (#44302181)

Apache ignores DNT from versions of IE that have it enabled by default because it's supposed to be something that the user specifically enables, not a blanket "hey ad industry, completely ignore this because it's always on" option.

No, Apache ignores DNT from IE 10 basically because the head of Apache works for Adobe, and Adobe doesn't like the idea of users not being tracked by default.

FWIW I use Firefox on a Mac, and I disable third-party cookies and run Ad-Block Plus.

Re:Is it true Apache webservers block DNT? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44302663)

Didn't we just determine the ad industry doesn't care about DNT? If it's an option, they have no obligation to respect it. See panopticlick.eff.org for more information on how irrelevant the DNT header is. The head of apache is a prick for adding the IE check to the default apache configuration. Ad-Block plus is our only hope, but even this can be defeated by using simple javascript.

Re:Is it true Apache webservers block DNT? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44302467)

Apache isn't the right place for something like that. The fact that the person that added that works for Adobe makes the whole thing suspect.

Re:Is it true Apache webservers block DNT? (1)

MtHuurne (602934) | about 9 months ago | (#44302907)

From a user interface perspective, I think it makes sense to pick as the default the value that most users would like it to be at. And while I have no research to back this up, I'm assuming most users would prefer not to be tracked.

Re:Is it true Apache webservers block DNT? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44303333)

There are three settings for DNT, paraphrased as "unset", "yes, I don't mind being tracked", and "no, I don't want to be tracked". Having three options, so it has to explicitly set to a yes or no means that should a country write laws regarding consent for tracking this setting would be useful for countries requiring an explicit opt-in and those requiring an explicit opt-out. Without the force of law we are relying on the good-will of advertisers to honor this and they will want that the user explicitly opts-out of tracking, setting it to default on renders DNT worthless in the eyes of advertisers because they then don't know if the user doesn't want to be tracked or if the user is just going along with the defaults. And IMO I think most people don't really care (if polled you could get results either way depending on the wording of the questions).

Re:Is it true Apache webservers block DNT? (1)

chuckinator (2409512) | about 9 months ago | (#44302107)

Their changes are public, so you could have looked for yourself to find that change was reverted in October last year after only being alive in the upstream repositories for a whopping 2 months. Please don't repeat hearsay if you aren't going to verify it.

Re:Is it true Apache webservers block DNT? (3, Informative)

Barefoot Monkey (1657313) | about 9 months ago | (#44302539)

That happened last year, but it was only for a month. The patch to disregard DNT from IE was actually made by one of the authors of the DNT standard in response to IE catastrophically mutilating the standard, but they soon decided that messing with Apache wasn't appropriate and reverted the patch.

Prevent all tracking (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44301979)

If companies want to know stuff about me they may ask me, until they do that they'll have to settle for text adds or find themselves blocked.

Fuck Tracking! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44301999)

Good fucking news.

but we hava a right to your money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44302005)

fucking parasites

Sigh (1)

PPH (736903) | about 9 months ago | (#44302013)

Buy 'Do Not Track' Online.

But wait there's more (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44302095)

You could save 15% on your purchase of 'Do Not Track' if you use the promo code 'a44b30b36141bf0f462bbdef6f5000f17655216e' in the next 7 hours and 13 minutes!!!

lets make it easy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44302167)

1. Do not track
2, Do not collect
3 Do not target.
4, do not try and peddle your shit on bandwidth I pay for - fucking pay for your own.
5) do not profit

6) do humanity a favour and kill yourselves scum

Marketing division (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 9 months ago | (#44302197)

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy defines the marketing division of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation as "a bunch of mindless jerks who'll be the first against the wall when the revolution comes," with a footnote to the effect that the editors would welcome applications from anyone interested in taking over the post of robotics correspondent.

So they rejected the proposal (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 9 months ago | (#44302269)

What effect will this have on the problem? Are the advertisers gonna say, "Oh, gee, I guess we better close up shop and go home"? I think we need to take this further and file claims against advertisers that consume our limited bandwidth. 20 million complaints in small claims court might just work. Cell phone spammers should suffer the same in places where people pay to receive calls.

Just block ads (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 9 months ago | (#44302289)

Why spend the effort on the courts? Ad blockers take under a minute to install.

Re:Just block ads (2)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 9 months ago | (#44302367)

Why spend the effort on the courts?

I could make some money. In fact if you send me 20 dollars and a stamped envelope, I'll send you a brochure on how you too can become a millionaire with this amazing opportunity... all from your home office.

all advertising is spam (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44302507)

it is all unwanted and all needs to cease

commercial speech is not "free speech"

your right to sell something ends at my eardrums and my eyeballs, if you have violated those boundaries to attempt to implant "brand awareness" then you have assaulted me

Does the NSA respect it ? (3, Funny)

Alain Williams (2972) | about 9 months ago | (#44302671)

If the NSA were to respect the DNT header then I would stop fretting about a lot of the rest of this week's news :-)

Almost as useful as... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44303409)

DNT is only marginally less useful than the evil bit [ietf.org] . Do they seriously think any advertisement company is going to respect this setting?

Re:Almost as useful as... (2)

Todd Knarr (15451) | about 9 months ago | (#44303883)

It's not so much a question of the companies respecting it as that they're on notice about it. It's like a no-trespassing sign on a fence. It may be easy to hop over the fence, and it doesn't actually stop anyone who intends to trespass. They can't, however, claim they didn't realize they were trespassing if they have to climb over a fence that at every point along it would've had at least one no-trespassing sign visible to them. That makes it much easier to deal with them when they get caught trespassing. That doesn't mean much for an individual, but when a large security breach occurs and information they collected gets stolen it means a lot if there's a class-action suit filed. Or if the breach affects European users who can invoke more stringent laws.

We had a good deal (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44304107)

I think we had a pretty decent deal during the era of broadcast TV, newspapers, and magazines. I think we'll have a good deal again some day; but right now it's a war.

Casualty: historic ads, a casualty of 3rd party servers which means the ad isn't part of the file making up the site.

Casualty: uninterrupted TV--the dancing dinosaurs that interrupt regular programming are a direct result of advertisers trying to find a way around TiVo. Ditto for banner crawls during newscasts.

Casualty: Movies free of product placement. Probably a casualty of TiVo also

Casualty: Privacy, duh. Yahoo, Google, etc. all scanning our e-mails to supposedly make things more attractive to advertisers.

There's probably more. What it boils down to is that you had two parties that never really liked eachother. Advertisers and consumers. They reached a sort of uneasy truce. The introduction of new technology led to an arms race. Now it sucks. Most of us are aware of it sucking on the consumer side; but I bet it sucks on the advertiser side too.

I don't know what the new deal will be; but it will come about eventually...

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