Following the release of Microsoft's Windows 8 and Internet Explorer 10 last week, Yahoo! is the latest company to announce that it will not recognize the "Do Not Track" setting enabled by default within Internet Explorer 10.
Since Microsoft announced earlier this year that the latest version of Internet Explorer would include the "Do Not Track" feature as a default setting, advertisers from Intel, IBM, General Motors, Proctor & Gamble, the Digital Advertising Alliance, and other advertising groups have expressed their opposition to Microsoft's decision.
Yahoo! announced in a blog post on Friday that it was joining advertisers in their vow to ignore Microsoft's "Do Not Track" setting. "Ultimately, we believe that DNT must map to user intent, not to the intent of one browser creator, plug-in writer, or third-party software service. Therefore, although Yahoo! will continue to offer Ad Interest Manager and other tools, we will not recognize IE10's default DNT signal on Yahoo! properties at this time," the blog said.
The company adds that it supports "Do Not Track" "in principle" but argues that Microsoft's decision to unilaterally turn it on by default rather than at users' direction does not express user intent.
According to Microsoft executives, a company-sponsored survey showed that 75 percent of PC users across the U.S. and Europe preferred have the Do Not Track setting turned on.
The survey "reaffirms our decision to enable DNT in the 'Express Settings' portion of the Windows 8 set-up experience," said Microsoft's chief privacy officer, Brendon Lynch, in a statement. "There, consumers can easily switch DNT off if they'd like. Transparency and choice guide our approach. We will continue to innovate and compete on privacy."