Yahoo to launch Do Not Track feature

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Scott Thompson, Yahoo CEO
Scott Thompson, Yahoo CEO

Yahoo users will be able to opt out of third-party website tracking beginning this summer by implementing a “Do Not Track” (DNT) header feature, said Shane Wiley, VP of privacy and data governance at Yahoo.

The implementation of DNT will be site-wide and will include Yahoo's digital ad exchange Right Media as well as its digital advertising technology and services company interclick, the company said in a statement.

Yahoo has been working on implementing the program since last year and is in accordance with the Digital Advertising Alliance's (DAA) principles around online behavioral advertising, the company added.

When users click on Yahoo's DNT header, the solution is designed to ensure the user will not receive ads and content based on the browser's activity, said Wiley. Additionally, when the DNT header is activated, Yahoo will no longer create a profile around that browser. Yahoo will however continue to collect data for operational reasons, such as fighting fraud, site security and improving services, Wiley said.

“We also believe consumers expect us to use market and product research to innovate in ways they may not be able to fathom today,” Wiley said. “This demands we collect data, but use it in a responsible way even as we come up with new ideas to bring improvements and value to our users.”

The introduction of the DNT header is not the first time Yahoo has adopted privacy mechanisms including Microsoft's AdChoices in 2010 and Ad Interest Manager in 2009.

“Implementing DNT on our network shows that commitments to self-regulation make a difference and are progressing in the marketplace,” said Wiley. “It is only a few weeks since the DAA and several companies pledged to honor DNT signals at a White House sponsored event.”  

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