Internet giant Yahoo announced today that it will begin to roll out a Do Not Track tool across all of its platforms worldwide. Yahoo’s implementation of Do Not Track (DNT) will go live by early summer, the company said. The move comes just days after the U.S. Federal Trade Commission released its extensive list of recommended ways online companies can better protect the privacy of Web users, which included further endorsement of Do Not Track technology.
“Yahoo!’s DNT header solution has been in development since last year and is in accordance with the Digital Advertising Alliance’s (DAA) principles,” the company writes in a statement released today. “This site-wide DNT mechanism (to include Yahoo! owned Right Media and interclick) will provide a simple step for consumers to express their ad targeting preferences to Yahoo!.”
Currently, most major browsers — Safari, Internet Explorer, Firefox — include some type of Do Not Track mechanism, which work by sending a message to websites indicating that a particular user does not want to have tracking cookies, used to display targeted advertising, installed on their computer. Last month, Google finally agreed that it too would include Do Not Track in its Chrome browser.
Yahoo asserts that allowing advertisers to regulate themselves is a better option than mandatory regulation by the federal government. However, some studies (pdf) show that the DAA, which represents about 90 percent of websites that serve online advertising, uses techniques that are confusing or misleading to users. And many worry that advertisers will not respect their use of Do Not Track, and install ad cookies anyway.
At present, there are 13 companies (not including Yahoo or its subsidiaries), of varying types, that have agreed to respect Do Not Track mechanisms. You can see that full list here.
[Image via Andy Dean Photography/Shutterstock]