Bi-Partisan Privacy Caucus co-Chairs Joe Barton (R-Texas) and Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) expressed their disappointment recently that the Digital Advertising Alliance is telling its members to ignore the Do Not Track default setting for users of Microsoft's Internet Explorer 9.
Microsoft announced earlier this year that the default setting in IE9 would be Do NOT Track. Privacy advocates applauded Microsoft's move, but advertisers were peeved.
Profits Over Privacy?
In a bipartisan consensus, the co-chairs blasted the advertising trade group for putting profits over user privacy choices. According to both the Democratic and GOP co-chairs, users should be able to opt IN to tracking, not be required to opt OUT. Few users apparently even know about such browser settings, and tend not to change them.
Both lawmakers also called for stronger privacy laws to require that companies comply with such privacy preferences of consumers, especially children and teens, in order to better protect personal information.
Bleak Outlook for New Technology
Although the Do Not Track setting is relatively new, according to Microsoft it is already supported by the following browsers:
- Internet Explorer v9
- Firefox v9 and later
- Safari 5.1 on Mac OS 10.7 Lion
Regardless of its growing support, if advertisers follow the DAA's advice, the setting will be ignored. Users will be tracked and their information will be traded on the open market, despite telling the world not to do so.