Microsoft Asks Industry to Honor DNT Browser in Blog Post

Debate at a standstill

Much to the dismay of the rest of the interactive ad community, Microsoft is holding its ground on its default Do Not Track browser in Internet Explorer 10, the company confirmed in a recent blog post.

Written by Brad Smith, the company's general counsel and evp for legal and corporate affairs, the post addresses the rest of the digital advertising industry—which has lined up against the DNT feature—and says it should follow Microsoft's lead on privacy policy.

"While we remain steadfast in our decision to enable the DNT signal in IE 10, we also recognize that turning the signal on is only the first step. To achieve the full value and benefit of DNT, the industry needs to fully implement a response to the signal," Smith wrote.

Advice to Microsoft: Don't hold your breath. The digital advertising industry isn't backing down either. Through its self-regulatory group, the Digital Advertising Alliance, the industry officially opposed the default settings on the DNT feature. Yahoo said it wouldn't support it. More than 450 advertisers representing 10,000 brands have come out against Microsoft's move because they view it as bad for business. 

Numerous discussions behind the scenes between Microsoft and the rest of the advertising business have obviously gone nowhere, leaving the debate over how to handle a universal do not track browser option at a standstill. 

"The community isn't going to have some company decide for all consumers how this should be dealt with," said Dan Jaffe, evp of the Association of National Advertisers. "The DAA's self-regulatory [ad choices] program provides maximum amount of choice for the consumer. Microsoft in no way provides that array or clarification of choice. They should be coordinating with our approach."