The board of directors of the ANA (Association of National Advertisers) expressed profound disappointment with and strong opposition to Microsoft's decision to implement ‘Do Not Track' functionality in its Internet Explorer 10 browser by default. I
n a letter to Steve Ballmer, CEO, Bradford Smith, senior vice president and general counsel, and Craig Mundie, chief research and strategy officer at Microsoft, ANA renewed its request that Microsoft reverse its position, which it says will harm consumers, hurt competition, and undermine American innovation and leadership in the Internet economy.
"Microsoft's decision undercuts the effectiveness of our brand owners' internet advertising and undermines the industry's self-regulatory system," said Bob Liodice, ANA president and CEO. "It is time that Microsoft realign with the broader business community and provide choice to consumers, which is why ANA's board of directors has come together to emphatically denounce this ill-considered approach."
The ANA is particularly concerned about the future of the Internet ecosystem and a diminished interactive advertising marketplace. By setting the Internet Explorer browser to block data collection, Microsoft's action could potentially eliminate the ability to collect Web viewing data of up to 43 percent of browsers used by Americans. The default settings will also block the personalized and relevant experiences of consumers before consumers even have the opportunity to determine whether it is of value to them.