Do Not Track: Is the End Near?

Casey BartoAll the major web browsers have some kind of Do Not Track feature available. The problem, according to some, is that Internet users either don’t know the feature is there or don’t know what it’s supposed to do, which is leading to the predicted demise of the Do Not Track concept.
“The way Do Not Track is currently implemented in top browsers is enough to make anyone think that it’s not a very important piece of functionality. It’s even beginning to look like Mozilla itself doesn’t see much of a future for it. The Foundation recently decided to block third-party cookies on websites, a move that is much more likely to have a real impact for Firefox users in the immediate future. Indeed, DNT feels like a mere afterthought lumped in among other settings like whether or not to send crash reports enabling animated images. That’s confusing, given all the heat Microsoft has taken over its decision to roll DNT by default. If others are so concerned, you would think that Do Not Track is something that would be deserving of more exposure,” writes Lee Matthews in an article on Geek.com.

As I’ve mentioned before, plans for a universal Do Not Track mechanism have been stalled. In fact, they’ve been stalled for such a long time that the Do Not Track Online Act was re-introduced in the Senate last month.

The bill has little chance of passing thanks to the fact that consumers don’t seem very concerned about being tracked online, according to Forbes.

“That’s because whereas telemarketing calls involve annoying, disruptive phone calls, online ad-tracking takes place behind the scenes, often entirely unbeknownst to Internet users. And since it doesn’t disrupt anybody’s day, people are much less likely to complain about it even when they know the details. Also, many people like having advertising aimed particularly at them, and personalized ads help finance free Websites.” You can read more here.

With the Do Not Track effort stalled, what do you think its future will be?

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  1. […] Senate Commerce Committee held a hearing on the status of the floundering Do Not Track initiative. Plans for the initiative have slowed to a crawl, prompting the need for the Do Not Track Online Act to be reintroduced in […]

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