Mathew J. Schwartz reports:
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the standards body that develops the protocols and guidelines for the Web, Monday released the first draft of its proposed standard for implementing “Do Not Track” online.
Do Not Track refers to giving consumers the ability to opt out of having their personal information and online browsing habits tracked by advertisers, marketers, and websites in general. The final W3C Do Not Track standard–due out by the summer of 2012–will detail both how consumers can express their tracking preferences, as well as how websites and their affiliates will acknowledge those preferences.
Read more on InformationWeek.
From the W3C site:
To address rising concerns about privacy on the Web, W3C publishes today two first drafts for standards that allow users to express preferences about online tracking:
- Tracking Preference Expression (DNT), which defines mechanisms for users to express cross-site tracking preferences and for sites to indicate whether they honor these preferences.
- Tracking Compliance and Scope Specification, which defines the meaning of a “Do Not Track” preference and sets out practices for websites to comply with this preference.
These documents are the early work of a broad set of stakeholders in the W3C Tracking Protection Working Group, including browser vendors, content providers, advertisers, search engines, and experts in policy, privacy, and consumer protection. W3C invites review of these early drafts, expected to become standards by mid-2012. Read the full press release and testimonials and learn more about Privacy.