Yahoo to ignore IE10’s Do Not Track setting

imageOne 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.


  • voodoo_lady

    Message to Yahoo: Ask 100 users if they want to be tracked. How many will say yes? There’s your user base…

    • Hazem Elshabini

      True, but still, what makes the internet personalized is because you can be tracked…still wouldn’t hurt to ask…

      • Mikado_Wu

        Personalized – comes from the word Personal…. and defined as “somebody’s private life”…. Not Yahoo Not Google.

        The major issues with out country and economy is over consumerism…… Companies like Yahoo and Google are designed to manipulate the consumer.

      • NarcoSleepy

        I would argue that, you must OPT-IN to allow your activity to be tracked, and not have to opt-out. With that said, I can’t remember the last time I did anything on Yahoo, so whatever…

      • himura_kenshin

        Wrong. Tracking is what makes ADVERTISEMENTS personalized (which is, IMO, beyond creepy). What makes the web personal to me is the URLs I type in my address bar and the links I click on.

  • CraZeE

    I think this is dangerous from the fact that by ‘ignoring’ the DNT setting, there would now be no way for a user to enable/disable it as it will always be disabled now from Yahoo’s perspective.
    THAT I think is just inconsiderate and is a lose-lose to the consumer.

  • Jimmy_Jangle

    Yahoo’s shite anyway.

  • XB_Mod

    the feeling is mutual, I will ignore Yahoo too.

  • JoshC

    oh no yahoo is going to ignore my DNT darn i guess i will have to continue not living in the year 1999 and never go to yahoo again.

  • John

    How cares what Yahoo says? They just wanna track people and become spy company like Google. Well when CEO comes from Google no wonder their mentality will be spying on people. No surprise!
    One more reason to not use Yahoo services in case still you were using it!

  • xma1e

    Users should be allowed to OPT-IN not forced too.

    Yahoo’s dirty little secret has been noted.

  • himura_kenshin

    I disagree with this. When I upgraded my two desktop machines, and when setting up my Surface RT, each time Windows asked my preference on DNT. I had a choice. I chose to keep DNT enabled. This is my expressed desire. Yahoo hasn’t drawn a line in the sand, it’s stuck its head in it. Again. It is anti-consumer messages like this (in addition to myriad other problems) that will prevent Yahoo! from regaining its former prominence on the web.

  • jcfan1979

    Ya-whoo? That’s right. That once irrelevant company that’s still around and still irrelevant. Other posters here are right. When it comes to user privacy we should always have to opt-in to tracking and such and not opt-out of these types of things.

  • Ryan Smith

    Well that’s rather funny. Seeing as how Yahoo licenses the Bing search engine to power its searching, I hope the realize that Microsoft’s licenses are “at will” and can be pulled at anytime.

  • General Motas

    Ignoring Yahoo is one thing. To ignore flickr might be another. And then there are others like Apache webserver that are going to ignore DNT from I.E.10 as well. What do you think about changing the User Agent String to something different like IE9 or firefox?