Yahoo! Leads Charge On ‘Do Not Track’ Proposal

At Yahoo!, consumer privacy is paramount. We have the track record to prove it.

Yahoo! and many others in our industry — in partnership with trade association leadership, consumer advocates, academics, and regulators — have been working diligently to develop technical specifications and compliance guidelines for the implementation of the ‘Do Not Track’ signal.  In a recent Wall Street Journal article, an editor chose what we see as a misleading headline that has led some to unfortunately believe that Yahoo! and industry are somehow not supportive of responding to the ‘Do Not Track’ browser signal.  This couldn’t be further from the truth.

Put simply, Yahoo! was among the first to announce that we would support and implement a robust response to the ‘Do Not Track’ browser signal, and we also fully support the implementation of workable, universal standards.   The road to such standards is never easy, but we have been leading the way and will continue to do so.  The process of developing the ‘Do Not Track’ standard is on-going within the World Wide Web Consortium, or W3C.  Most recently in face-to-face meetings in Washington, DC, multiple proposals for key issues such as first party and third party definition and permitted uses of data were discussed.  There were five proposals in total; I was a lead author on one of those proposals.  It’s unfair – and inaccurate — to state since Yahoo! and others offered one proposal, that we are somehow attacking other proposals.  In fact, commonality was found in some of the leading proposals and the working group is in the process of finalizing common language.  This is a process of working together to maximize user privacy protections while minimizing expansive costs to the Internet where vast amounts of free content are available to consumers.  This is not, as the Wall Street Journal headline suggests, about one or more companies “leading charges against” ‘Do Not Track’.  This is about working on and advocating for the best possible standard for consumers and for the Internet.

While the misleading headline may get more attention for the Wall Street Journal, we wanted to set the record straight that Yahoo! continues to support the W3C Tracking Protection Working Group and the multi-stakeholder process it embodies.  For us, working hard to earn and keep the trust of our users is just plain common sense. 

Shane Wiley
VP, Privacy & Data Governance

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