One of Microsoft’s biggest bulwarks against total Google Search domination is their deal with Yahoo, but this may be showing some cracks, as Yahoo has announced that they will be ignoring IE10’s default “Do not Track” setting, calling it “signal abuse”.
"In principle, we support DNT," Yahoo said in an unattributed entry on its policy blog Friday. "[But] Microsoft unilaterally decided to turn on DNT in Internet Explorer 10 by default, rather than at users’ direction. It basically means that the DNT signal from IE10 doesn’t express user intent. We will not recognize IE10’s default DNT signal on Yahoo! properties at this time."
Yahoo alluded to that on its blog, saying, "In our view, [IE10’s on-by-default] degrades the experience for the majority of users and makes it hard to deliver on our value proposition to them."
On Friday, Microsoft’s head counsel, Brad Smith, in a blog post defended Microsoft’s decision on IE10 and DNT, citing a survey the company commissioned that said 75% percent of U.S. and European consumers wanted DNT switched on by default.
Smith also urged all browser makers to "clearly communicate to consumers whether the DNT signal is turned on or off, and make it easy for them to change the setting," a reference to Windows 8’s notice during setup.
Microsoft has in fact stepped back somewhat from their position of default Do Not Track, now informing users when they set up Windows 8 about the option to switching tracking on or off.
"I don’t think this is especially significant," said Justin Brookman, director of consumer privacy at the Center for Democracy and Technology. "Yahoo! is just the biggest individual company to draw this line in the sand. I doubt this will affect their search relationship."
Some are predicting a war however between browser makers and advertisers around end user privacy. Do our readers think this will cause a schism between the two companies? Let us know below.