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RIP "Don't Track", all of the privacy standards were ignored



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"Don't Track" had a high goal: A simple checkbox in every browser that would tell websites not to track you. It achieved that goal, but here's the problem: Websites don't care.

As we pointed out in 201

2, the "Do Not Track" option does not prevent tracing. It only sends a special information whenever you connect to a site and asks that the site not track you. The large, large portion of websites ignored this. It never really changed. There was no punishment for ignoring the request and little reason to actually honor it.

Still, "Track note" has been mixing for several years. This option is part of Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, Microsoft Edge, and Internet Explorer. You can check the box and it can make you feel a little better if you are upset about being tracked online. But it doesn't really matter. It is misleading.

In fact, Track has not been used to track people. If you have not Tracked, it is an extra information about you that can be tracked. Advertisers could directly target privacy related ads.

Everyone was happy to ignore the pointless checkbox for a while, but now it seems that DNT finally collapses. As DuckDuckGo noted, Apple removes the "Don't Track" selection from Safari. As Gizmodo saw, the work on the standard stopped quietly on January 17, 2019. With the abandoned standard and the first browser released, we expect other browsers to follow Apple's management.

Is that bad? No. "Do not track" never went anywhere and was generally ignored. At this point, the tracking option does not work a placebo and only mislead people through existing ones. It is a long time to get rid of DNT.

The history of the track is not cluttered. Microsoft only made the problem worse by turning it on by default in Internet Explorer 10, causing several sites to ignore it. It's especially fun because Microsoft itself never followed the DNT setting and said "Because there is no common understanding of how to interpret the DNT signal, Microsoft services are currently not responding to DNT signals for browsers."

Modern browsers that include tracking protection are not waiting for a "common understanding" to develop in the industry. Instead, they block proactively trackers. Apple's own Safari browser includes "Intelligent Tracking Protection" that prevents sites that you do not visit directly from tracking you. Mozilla Firefox contains a content blocking feature that you can enable to block a list of known trackers.

It does not mean that tracking or targeted ads are necessarily bad. There are arguments for and against it. But as a society, let's have that discussion without the distraction of a misleading checkbox that doesn't do anything.


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