Yahoo backs down on “do not track”

Yahoo has dumped support for Do Not Track, claiming that there was a lack of a single standard across the tech industry.

Do Not Track (DNT) is part of HTTP and is a privacy setting that tells advertisers whether or not web users are happy to be tracked across websites. It is turned off in most browsers, with people needing to opt in to receive any protection.

However there’s nothing forcing advertisers to honour it and most ignore it. After all they are evolved from door to door salespeople who never take no for an answer.

Yahoo was the first major tech company to implement Do Not Track but it had yet to see a single standard emerge that is effective, easy to use and has been adopted by the wider tech industry.

Yahoo claims that the “the best web is a personalised one” and that dropping DNT will give users a more “personalised experience”.

Jim Killock, executive director of the Open Rights Group, told PC Pro  that companies such as Yahoo had “sabotaged the DNT standard”.

He said that the companies need to respect users’ privacy and re-establish trust that has been undermined by pervasive, permission less data collection through cookie-based tracking.

It’s still possible to opt out of tracking on Yahoo in the Privacy Policy section of its site. If you have a Yahoo account, you can sign in to enable this setting across every computer with one or alternatively you can opt out on a device-by-device basis.