NEW YORK, NY - October 9, 2012 - The DAA issued the following statement at 8 a.m. EDT today regarding Do-Not-Track default settings – which speaks specifically to Microsoft’s imminent plans to release Internet Explorer Version 10 with a “Do-Not-Track” (DNT) default setting.
DAA Statement on DNT Browser Settings
“In response to questions by participants of the Digital Advertising Alliance’s (“DAA”) Self-Regulatory Program (“DAA Program”), the DAA provides this statement regarding “do not track” (“DNT”) settings in Microsoft Internet Explorer version 10 (“IE10”).
The DAA is a consortium of the nation’s largest media and marketing associations led by the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s), the American Advertising Federation (AAF), the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), and the Network Advertising Initiative (NAI). Representing more than 5,000 member companies, these associations have come together in an initiative to develop and implement self-regulation for the collection of web viewing data, in order to optimally assure transparency and trust in and consumers’ control over their interactive advertising environments. The DAA administers the implementation of the Self-Regulatory Principles for Online Behavioral Advertising and for Multi-Site Data (“DAA Principles”).
Through more than 1 trillion ad impressions served each month with the DAA’s Advertising Option Icon (“DAA Icon”), the DAA program has reach to 100 percent of the US market. From the DAA Icon, consumers can access the DAA’s universal, easy-to-use choice mechanisms available at both optout.aboutads.info and www.youradchoices.com/control.aspx. Since the program’s launch in 2010, more than 16 million consumers have visited the DAA sites to learn about their advertising data choices, and, to date, more than 1 million consumers have taken action to exercise their choice about how advertisers will use their data. In addition, the Advertising Self-Regulatory Council of the Council of Better Business Bureaus and the Direct Marketing Association monitor the activities of DAA participant companies for compliance with the program, and can refer violators to government authorities for sanction if they refuse to modify non-compliant behaviors. To date, 100 percent of the companies found to be in violation of the DAA program have changed their behaviors when notified of non-compliant behaviors and activities.
The DAA does not require companies to honor DNT signals fixed by the browser manufacturers and set by them in browsers. Specifically, it is not a DAA Principle or in any way a requirement under the DAA Program to honor a DNT signal that is automatically set in IE10 or any other browser. The Council of Better Business Bureaus and the Direct Marketing Association will not sanction or penalize companies or otherwise enforce with respect to DNT signals set on IE10 or other browsers.
The trade associations that lead the DAA do not believe that Microsoft’s IE10 browser settings are an appropriate standard for providing consumer choice. Machine-driven do not track does not represent user choice; it represents browser-manufacturer choice. Allowing browser manufacturers to determine the kinds of information users receive could negatively impact the vast consumer benefits and Internet experiences delivered by DAA participants and millions of other Web sites that consumers value. In addition, standards that are different than the consensus-based DAA Principles could confuse consumers and be difficult to implement. A “default on” do-not-track mechanism offers consumers and businesses inconsistencies and confusion instead of comfort and security.
The DAA Principles, self-regulatory program, and consumer choice tool is the only mechanism in the marketplace that truly provides consumers with clear transparency, choice, and meaning about how their data will and will not be used. For these reasons, the DAA’s constituent trade associations continue to support these efforts by the DAA.”