The Do Not Track App for Websites
The Do Not Track setting found in all major browsers is beginning to gain significant traction with web users looking to have greater control over their online privacy.
As of May 2012 8.6% of desktop users of the Firefox browser are asking websites not to track them. According to Mozilla's own stats, that figure increased from 5.6% in November 2011 - a dramatic increase in less than 6 months. For Firefox mobile users that figure is even higher at 19%.
In the last few months of 2012 Google's Chrome browser has been upgraded to include a Do Not Track function, and Internet Explorer 10 - the default browser for Windows 8 - is being shipped to users with Do Not Track already switched on.
As the vast majority of web users do not change the default settings in their browser, this means that 2013 is likely to be a year where increasingly significant numbers of web users will be asking websites not to track them.
Here is the problem - almost all websites, completely ignore the request, and go on tracking anyway.
There are two main reasons for this:
- There are no agreed technical standards for how a website should respond to the request. Efforts on agreeing a standard are grinding to a halt through opposing interest groups taking intractable positions.
- There are no laws anywhere in the world requiring websites to respond to the request - although if the standard efforts fail completely - these will likely come quite quickly in the major web economies.
However while all of this is going on, an ever increasing number of user requests for greater privacy are being ignored, which risks eroding trust between consumers and businesses even further than it has been already.
And if you don't think that this is important then you only have to look at recent surveys that indicate that nearly 30% of users have stopped using websites that they don't believe respect their privacy. That's a big chunk of potential business for any website.
The good news is you can choose to do something about it, without waiting for the law or standards to catch up with the concerns of your web visitors.
With Optanon on your website - you can demonstrate to your visitors that you respect their privacy. Optanon supports the Do Not Track request, and allows you to decide how your website responds by reducing or eliminating non-essential tracking of visitors.