Yahoo was the first major technology firm to implement the Do Not Track option when it rolled out that feature into its Website two years ago. Now, the company is dropping that feature out of its online browsing settings. The simple reason behind this decision: the option’s popularity has significantly declined.
It was in the summer of 2012 when Do Not Track was introduced by Yahoo through its Website. The feature was designed to allow users to possibly and easily opt out having their online surfing activities anonymously tracked by advertisers. This feature logically disables tracking for targeted ads.
In a blog post, the privacy team of the company explained that it is currently developing a single standard that would be more effective, easier to use, and broader reaching across the tech industry. It reiterated that it has been a pioneer in the development of the most user-friendly standard in the industry.
Yahoo, being one of the major Websites, has the ability to offer and provide more relevant ads that are based on online activity. Thus, users who are constantly searching for men’s clothing would find more ads in the site that are related to men’s fashion. Those who search for cooking more should expect more ads about cooking classes.
Consequently, many legislators and privacy advocates have been expressing their concerns about the way and the extent online companies collect data across the Internet. Thus, the Do Not Track option has become a welcome note to them. That is because the feature logically enables to opt out of being tracked online.
With this decision, users of Yahoo would not anymore enjoy that feature. However, the tech firm said its users could still possibly manage their online privacy through using several tools, which include the opt-out ad matching as well as management of marketing settings. Those could be accessed through the Yahoo Privacy Center. Yahoo maintains that it still prioritize the privacy of its online users.
Do Not Track in the industry
Yahoo’s action is in defiance with the recommendations of the US Federal Trade Commission, stated through its March 2012 privacy report. The regulator then advised tech firms to observe integration of simpler and more transparent options for privacy, like Do Not Track.
It can be recalled that Microsoft Corp faced criticisms from advertisers when it decide to adopt the Do Not Track option when it launched IE10. For its part, Google was forced to ‘bury’ the same feature into its advanced settings menu. Apple Inc’s Safari also has this option.