Over the last couple of months, there has been a lot of buzz about companies 'tracking' user data; starting with reports about Carrier IQ, along with some mobile giants and then recently with Google tracking cookies. After being accused for Safari and IE tracking, Google soon announced its support for the 'do not track' button. Yahoo! has also been quick enough, and is all set to implement its do not track button, which is scheduled for a release, this summer.
Do not track…
Yahoo! has, according to reports cleared that they will provide a simple step for consumers to express their ad targeting preferences to them. As we know, websites like Google and Yahoo! have the ability to track a person’s searches, which they then use to offer advertisements. So, if one has been doing a lot of searches for bridal wear, then advertisements related to bridal discounts and other offers will pop up for the user. However, this could have far reaching effects and violates on user privacy, while also risking his/her precious, critical data. With the ‘ do not track’ button, a user can choose not be tracked by Internet companies.
Yahoo! has been supposedly working on this button, since the past year or so, and the announcement just follows the Federal Trade Commission’s final report on privacy. FTC Chairman, Jon Leibowitz has put forth five key “do not track” principles – universal implementation, ease of use, no option to override, no technical loopholes, and the ability to opt out of not just targeted ads, but all behavioural data tracking.
Data tracking issues have been surfacing for some time now. It started off late last year with Carrier IQ tracking user data to assist phone makers who in turn helped advertisers dish out an ad as per the user’s search data. So, those who’ve been busy blaming Facebook over security issues had to take time off and concentrate on other biggies, like Google. Soon enough, Nokia and RIM assured that they haven't indulged in such practices, but Apple was grilled over the same in Germany.
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