EFF, Adblock and Disconnect reveal stronger Do Not Track setting

4 Aug 2015

The new standard aims to protect users from advertisers who fail to acknowledge users have opted out

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), Adblock and Disconnect have revealed what they claim is a stronger Do Not Track (DNT) standard to prevent advertisers from tracking users who have opted out.

Also joining forces with EFF on the new DNT standard are Medium, Mixpanel and DuckDuckGo.

DNT is a preference you can set on Firefox, Chrome, or other Web browsers as well as in the iOS and FirefoxOS mobile operating systems to signal to websites that you want to opt-out of tracking of your online activities.

EFF chief computer scientist Peter Eckersley said that clear and fair practices around analytics and advertising are essential not only for privacy but for the future of online commerce.

Advertisers choose to ignore Do Not Track requests

While DNT technology has been around a decade or more, applying it is voluntary and some sites and advertisers ignore it.

“The failure of the ad industry and privacy groups to reach a compromise on DNT has led to a viral surge in ad blocking, massive losses for internet companies dependent on ad revenue, and increasingly malicious methods of tracking users and surfacing advertisements online,” said Disconnect CEO Casey Oppenheim.

“Our hope is that this new DNT approach will protect a consumer’s right to privacy and incentivise advertisers to respect user choice, paving a path that allows privacy and advertising to coexist.”

Privacy image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years