Wednesday, August 22, 2012

blood on the tracks

Certain unscrupulous corners of the advertising world, those on the dark side of the (other) digital divide, are not best pleased.

It appears that Microsoft are sticking to Plan A and shipping 'Do-Not-Track' as the default option in Internet Explorer 10.

Do Not Track is a web privacy scheme that tells online advertisers to NOT collect or use data specific to a user's web activity.

Advertisers can still show ads, obviously, but they would not be allowed to record that a user browsed certain car websites, for example, and then proceed show car ads where ever they go.

While these advertisers were reported to be willing to put up with 'Do-Not-Track', they were only accepting the basis that it was certain to be something that users had to actually enable and activate for themselves.

Thus users default bias would kick in and most would leave the box unchecked, and it would be happy days for the cookie brigade.

The default however is on the other foot as Microsoft further enhances it's nice-ness and new-cool credentials by leaving DNT as the default, a little nudge-eyness towards making the web a bit less creepy for there users.


Of course the small problem faced by DNT is that it's pretty much trust based and not enforcable.

Advertisers need to look for the DNT signal sent and decide to honor it.

Now if you are the kind of advertiser who thinks it's acceptable to creep around after individuals, record their movements and then try and intercept and 'target' them at every corner with 'relevant' ads, and then what's the likelyhood they will honor a DNT request.

After all skullduggery and coercion takes less effort than making products, services and advertising that are so great that people are attracted to look at them and do stuff with them because they deliver some actual value.

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