The Do Not Track Standard Has Crossed Into Crazy Territory

Ed Bott:

I cannot make this stuff up. The representative to the W3C working group from the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) proposed this change the other day to the Tracking Definitions and Compliance section of the DNT standard:

Marketing should be added to the list of “Permitted Uses for Third Parties and Service Providers” in Section 6.1 of the Tracking Definitions and Compliance Document.

Via email, two other members of the working group expressed confusion. One asked, “What do you mean by marketing? What would be permitted?” Another said, “I don’t follow.” (This is how polite people in standards groups say “WTF?”)

Do Not Track is (was?) a fine idea for a W3C standard, but at this point, browser makers should take things into their own hands. Just add (more) features to browsers to allow users to assert tighter control over tracking by advertisers.

These big advertising groups clearly feel they are entitled to collect this tracking data; they’re not.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012