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Yahoo! Becomes the Latest to Launch a Do-Not-Track Feature

4 Apr, 2012 By: Jackie Jones

SUNNYVALE, Calif. – Starting this summer, Yahoo! users will be able to opt out of website tracking using the online company’s newly launched Do-Not-Track (DNT) header feature, according to an official company statement.

The DNT header feature will ensure that users who click on it do not receive behavioral-targeted ads based on his or her browsing activity, according to Shane Wiley, vice president of privacy and data governance at Yahoo. However, Yahoo! will continue to collect data for its own operational reasons, including site security and improvement and fraud protection, Wiley added.

“Yahoo! is deeply committed to innovation and bringing world-class experiences to our users. To do this, Yahoo! will continue to collect information for purposes such as fraud and security, financial reporting, and to improve our products for your benefit,” Wiley said. “It’s important to note that you will continue to see ads – but without the advantage of being personalized to your ad interests.”

Yahoo’s DNT solution has been in development for a year, according to the company, and it has already begun the implementation process worldwide.

Yahoo’s announcement comes on the heels of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) report last week that fell short of calling for a new “Do Not Track” law but instead proposing Congress should enact a law that “would provide consumers with access to information about them held by a data broker (such as Lexis Nexis or U.S. Search)” (Response This Week, March 28). The FTC’s final report called on companies handling consumer data to implement recommendations for protecting privacy, adding that the “industry has made significant process.”

“If companies adopt our final recommendations for best practices – and many of them already have – they will be able to innovate and deliver creative new services that consumers can enjoy without sacrificing their privacy,” said Jon Leibowitz, chairman of the FTC. “We are confident that consumers will have an easy to use and effective Do-Not-Track option by the end of the year because companies are moving forward expeditiously to make it happen and because lawmakers will want to enact legislation if they don’t.”

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