"Marketing fuels the world. It is as American as apple pie."

The Do Not Track standard has crossed into crazy territory

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?")

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12 Responses:

  1. Rick C says:

    Shorter article: Direct Marketing Association issues cri de coeur: "BLOCK ADS!"

  2. Ian Young says:

    Google is working on some kind of survey product, and one of their differentiators is that they don't have questions for age, or gender, because "Our algorithms already predict age and gender more accurately than direct user response can"

    Welcome to the panopticon. You're already here.

    • pavel_lishin says:

      Well, I do frequently forget my integer age, especially around my birthday.

      I do think I can guess my gender more accurately than Google can, though, but I'd be willing to take on a challenge.

    • James says:

      Not very likely. Try http://google.com/ads/preferences and look under "Demographics" -- most people's age is guessed incorrectly.

      • Abigail Brady says:

        The point is perhaps not that Google is great at determining these things, but that people lie a lot?

      • Barry Kelly says:

        Your categories and demographics
        No interest or demographic categories are associated with your ads preferences so far.

        It seems my avoidance activity has been successful thus far.

      • Jeremy Wilson says:

        I currently don't have an ID cookie. Thanks ShareMeNot and Ghostery!

        • Rodger Donaldson says:

          "Your browser's cookies seem to be disabled. Ads Preferences will not work until you enable cookies in your browser. How do I enable cookies?"

          Ahh, Firefox. You hid the per-site cookie controls away, but they still work when they can be found.

  3. Chris Davies says:

    The thing about this IE DNT farrago is that even if Microsoft put a big notice up on first boot that said "Do you want advertisers to track your browsing habits when you go online?" with options "No, do I look retarded to you?" and "Yes, I am in fact retarded" the advertising industry would still be up in arms.

    The only people who would ever click yes are the same 10% of people who, when polled, answer the Earth is smaller than sun or that the old testament was written after the new testament. That is to say people who didn't understand the question. Microsoft is just saving a step by doing what everyone even half way competent wants them to do.

    The advertising industry is never going to accept DNT if there is mass adoption, that's clear enough. The best the DNT working group can do is let this fact play itself out for all to see. Then it'll be up to governments to get their shit together and regulate these arseholes who are so clearly unwilling to regulate themselves.

    • Chris Davies says:

      (Um, read Earth larger than sun. Proof reading is not my strong suit.)

    • NotTheBuddha says:

      "The advertising industry is never going to accept DNT if there is mass adoption..."

      I don't follow.

      • protospork says:

        The advertising industry is never going to accept DNT even if there is mass adoption.

        That's how I understood it, anyway.

        Alternatively, "If there is mass adoption of DNT, advertisers will decide it's too damaging and find an excuse to reject it."