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Group of online advertisers to ignore ‘Do Not Track’ privacy setting

by KHOU.com Staff

khou.com

Posted on October 15, 2012 at 12:24 PM

Updated Monday, Oct 15 at 12:40 PM

HOUSTON—Microsoft’s latest version of its Internet Explorer web browser has a privacy setting that is upsetting some online advertisers.

Now the advertisers say they’re just going to start ignoring it – no matter what web browser you use.

As I reported back in August, Internet Explorer for the first time ever will have its “Do Not Track” setting enabled by default.

A group called the Digital Advertising Alliance, which claims to represent more than 5,000 advertisers, now says it will just ignore this setting. The advertisers don’t like Microsoft’s decision to enable it by default because this means they can’t effectively target their ads. They’re not required to “listen” to the setting, so they plan to just ignore it. They say the setting is just too confusing for consumers.

This “Do Not Track” setting, found in most web browsers, blocks small cookies and web files from tracking what you search for on the web. Advertisers like this data because they can use it to target ads to your computer based on your interests. While it is a form of tracking, the advertisers say they are unable to track your identity or location.

If you’re concerned about your privacy, you could use a program like Do Not Track Plus to block the tracking files. It’s a free plug-in for the Firefox web browser.

On the web: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/donottrackplus/

Questions? Comments? Feel free to reach out to Doug on Facebook (facebook.com/KHOUDougDelony) or Twitter (@DougDelonyKHOU)

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