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Do Not Track standards group shoots down advertiser proposal

A standards group has rejected a proposed standard from several advertising groups on the best way to let people tell Web site operators not to track their behavior.

The leaders of Tracking Protection Working Group, which includes representatives from browser makers, advertisers, privacy groups, and more, announced the decision Monday night. Instead, the group will use the June 2013 draft of the proposed "Do Not Track" standard.

The standards work is taking place at the World Wide Web Consortium, and the decision is final, said the group's two co-chairs, Peter Swire, who joined in November, and Matthias … Read more

Mozilla Firefox's Social API just added more friends

Mozilla Firefox maintains its position among the top browsers, while continuing to boast its signature full-featured and open browsing experience. Though it might not have been the pioneer of such concepts like tabbed browsing, it was a catalyst for bringing the concept to mainstream audiences. These features are complemented by an impressive library of over 10,000 extensions that add even more functionality and value to users, thanks to its robust browser. The more recent releases have brought significant improvements to managing memory usage, and Firefox's private-browsing features have gotten more advanced, as well.

Firefox has also ramped up … Read more

Do Not Track browser standard: Back on the rails

It looks like development of Do Not Track, an effort to create a standard that'll let people tell Web sites not to track their online behavior, has resumed after a months-long logjam.

Peter Swire, the newly appointed leader of the World Wide Web Consortium's work on Do Not Track, has been attempting to find common ground among very different constituencies including privacy advocates and advertisers. But there's been progress, he said in a blog post.

"Over the past two days, the group has successfully managed to identify a path toward fulfilling our W3C charter: we now … Read more

Privacy professor to try to break Do Not Track logjam

Peter Swire, an Ohio State law professor and privacy expert who has worked with the Obama administration, is stepping into a contentious process to create a standard way to let people stop Web sites from tracking their online behavior.

Aleecia M. McDonald announced today she's stepping down as co-chair of the Do Not Track standardization effort at the World Wide Web Consortium. She previously worked for Firefox maker Mozilla, which launched the current DNT technology after the U.S. Federal Trade Commission sought a mechanism to block online tracking, but she currently works for a program within Stanford University'… Read more

Yahoo will ignore Do Not Track for IE10 users

Yahoo will ignore "Do Not Track" requests from Internet Explorer 10 because, it claims, Microsoft is violating the concept's intent by turning it on by default.

Today's announcement reignites a conflagration that started with Microsoft's announcement in May, and became even more incendiary earlier this month when the Digital Advertising Alliance said advertising companies that choose to ignore Do Not Track requests "automatically set in IE10 or any other browser" would not be penalized.

Yahoo said in a blog post this afternoon that the choice to enable Do Not Track should be … Read more

Do Not Track proposal runs into more roadblocks

The Do Not Track proposal seems to be causing confusion and frustration among some W3C members charged with approving it.

Once ratified, the DNT policy would require advertisers and other third parties to turn off tracking for Internet users whose browser settings specifically restrict it.

The push for DNT has already created a chasm between advertisers, who naturally want the policy to be as lean as possible, and privacy advocates, who want tough standards.

Browser makers have also been caught in the furor. Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Safari, and Internet Explorer already include DNT settings. But Microsoft has caused waves by … Read more

Apache Web software overrides IE10 do-not-track setting

Apache, the most commonly used software to house Web sites, will ignore Microsoft's decision to disable ad-tracking technology by default in Internet Explorer 10.

Microsoft set IE10 and Windows 8 so that, by default, Web sites that observe the Do Not Track (DNT) standard won't track people's behavior. The move was made to "better protect user privacy," the company said.

But protecting user privacy turns out to be a thorny matter in practice -- at least when a standard has to be palatable to advertisers as well as browser makers and people surfing the Web. … Read more

Windows 8 sticks with IE10 Do Not Track by default

Microsoft is not likely to win over advertisers with its decision to turn on Internet Explorer 10's Do Not Track feature in the RTM version of Windows 8.

The Do Not Track, or DNT, feature is designed to stop third-party Web sites from tracking your online activity. Web sites that find Do Not Track turned on in your browser are supposed to back off. Most browsers leave the setting turned off, leaving it up to the user to decide whether to enable it.

But a blog post from Microsoft Chief Privacy Officer Brendon Lynch confirmed that the company is … Read more

Microsoft's Do Not Track default in IE10 violates new specs

Microsoft faces a tough time trying to pull off its goal of setting IE10's Do Not Track feature as the default.

The Do Not Track, or DNT, feature in a browser is supposed to send a signal to third-party Web sites, telling them not to track your Internet activity. Most browsers include this as an option that the user can turn on or off.

Microsoft wants to turn the feature on by default in Internet Explorer 10, seeing it as a necessary step in giving users more control over how their online activities are tracked, shared, and used. But … Read more

Do Not Track Plus add-on stops the tracking paparazzi

If ad-blocking is the hacksaw of Internet-protecting add-ons, the overhauled add-on Do Not Track Plus bows today as a finely honed scalpel, excising tracking behaviors embedded in sites without destroying the modern Web.

Released exclusively through CNET Download.com, Do Not Track Plus 2.0.4 follows last year's beta release with a greatly expanded feature set, better performance, and is available on four of the five major browsers. You can download Do Not Track Plus for Firefox (Windows | Mac), Chrome (Windows | Mac), Internet Explorer (Windows only), and Safari (Windows | Mac).

The intent of the free add-on is as … Read more