By Paul Morris
NOTE: This article might not make much sense to those who have not heard of the DNT acronym before. If you want to get up to speed the best article I have read on the issue (with great comments at the bottom!) is The Verge’s
Not only does it suck but it’s gaining momentum. We real world digital dudes need to stand up to these idiots before the digital landscapes version of scorched earth burns intelligent tracking/ targeting down around our ears.
Windows 8’s IE 10 has turned on the Do Not Track header by default, heavy weight bureaucrats such as Neelie Kroes (vice president for the digital agenda commission at the EU) and the FTC (US of A Federal Trade Commission) love it, the W3C & Mozilla support it and Apple block third party cookies (the step after DNT as it were) meaning we could be in a world of targeting pain going forward.
Privacy activists are right to be concerned at unscrupulous sites using data illegally however as long as sites adhere to data protection laws and tracking/ targeting is done with anonymised cookies then what’s the harm?! And before you hit me with the ‘slippery slope’ argument I do not buy it!
As I wrote about previously; we just went through a whole Cookie/ Millennium Bug V20.12 and DNT feels like yet another waste of time. DNT will hit the very people it is trying to help; the users. Not only will they be hit with more irrelevant ads but they might have to start to pay for the free content they enjoy as websites start to charge for ‘content digestion’ as you have cut their right revenue generating arm off. You also hit periphery services as digital agencies, DSP’s and retargeting networks jobs become infinitely more difficult. Not only that but poor Digital Marketing saps such as my good self find their jobs more difficult as you kill one of their acquisition channels.
…Then, as a result, this whole DNT thing will just turn into an arms race with initiatives such as Drawbrid.ge or browser fingerprinting (the former an unproven yet massively exciting cross browser user tracking proposition and the later a proven way of stateless tracking that is 90%+ effective) dealing with the aftermath and tracking via a.nother means.
I say nee to Neelie Kroes (she’s Dutch). And Nein/ Non to the rest of the EU commissioners (the powerful ones are German or French right?!).
Viva la DNT Sucks.