Do Not Track June 2013 Updates

Casey BartoFirefox is moving ahead with its plans to block 3rd party cookies. According to InformationWeek, Mozilla CTO Brendan Eich is quoted as saying the company is pushing ahead with the technology in an attempt to “change the dynamic so that trackers behave better.”
The exact type of cookies the next version of FireFox will block will be up to Cookie Clearinghouse, an arm of Stanford’s Center for Internet and Society, which led the push behind Do Not Track.

According to Information Week, “The Cookie Clearinghouse has a six-person advisory panel, which includes representatives from Mozilla, Opera and the Future of Privacy Forum, who will help develop an “allow list” and a “block list” of cookies. As that suggests, not all cookies will be blocked by the Firefox patch, which was developed by Mozilla’s Jonathan Meyer, who’s on the Cookie Clearinghouse advisory board.

Instead, Meyer’s patch will add a cookie-analysis logic engine to Firefox. “The idea is that if you have not visited a site (including the one to which you are navigating currently) and it wants to put a cookie on your computer, the site is likely not one you have heard of or have any relationship with,” said Mozilla CTO Eich in a blog post. “But this is only likely, not always true,” he said, noting that the engine would continue to be refined to help eliminate false positives, backed by information from the Cookie Clearinghouse.”

Adexchanger’s Judith Aquino points out the flaws in the Cookie Clearinghouse plan: “Mozilla’s third-party cookie patch has two problems: it fails to associate subdomains with primary domains even if they belong to the same party (e.g., foocdn.com versus foo.com) and does not block cookies on sites that users may visit by accident.”

On the consumer side of things, a group called Consumer Action surveyed 1,000 US adults about their feelings on privacy. Approximately 95% said there should be some way to control what information about them is collected online.

‘In a somewhat contradictory finding, indicating consumer confusion over some of these issues, 49 percent of survey respondents said the law prohibits online data collection without their explicit permission. This is obviously incorrect. However, 55 percent agreed with the statement that tracking “was the price of being online.”
Thus some people seem “resigned” to the notion of online tracking and data mining even though they express general disapproval of it,” wrote Greg Sterling at Marketing Land.

What are your thoughts on these latest developments?

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