CMO

Yahoo drops 'Do Not Track' policy in the name of 'personalised' experience

Company claims it is yet to see a single privacy standard that is effective

Yahoo will stop honoring "Do Not Track" requests made by a user's browser. It will now actively attempt to track an individual's interactions with its site and its content.

"Here at Yahoo, we work hard to provide our users with a highly personalized experience," the ironically named "Yahoo Privacy Team" wrote in a blog post. "We keep people connected to what matters most to them, across devices and around the world. We fundamentally believe the best web is a personalised one."

Yahoo's team claimed Yahoo was originally the first major tech company to implement "Do Not Track," which, in reality, is more of a request from the browser to the website than an order. Yahoo said it had yet to see a single privacy standard that is "effective, easy to use and has been adopted by the broader tech industry." For that reason, as well as its desire for "personalised" experiences, Yahoo changed its policy.

"Personalised" ads, of course, are a mixed bag. On the one hand, if Yahoo knows a consumer is a single man, they won't receive irrelevant ads for maternity clothes. On the other, tailoring an ad to an individual's gender, age, location, and even annual income means that Yahoo can charge far more per ad than it normally would.

Yahoo does allow users to manage certain elements of their privacy via its "Yahoo Privacy Center," where users can manually click a button and opt out of what Yahoo calls "interest-based advertising." Doing so, however, requires users not only to accept cookies into their browser, but also to be logged into Yahoo, across every PC they own, for those privacy settings to be passed along to other devices.

"Do Not Track," of course, allows users to set a blanket statement against tracking across all websites, not just Yahoo. What Yahoo hopes, of course, is that you simply won't bother.