Introduction to Do Not Track

Online privacy is a current issue for Internet companies and their visitors. Studies show that privacy concerns are increasing for current users, and that privacy may be a reason people choose not to have Internet access at home.[1] One response to privacy concerns is a Do Not Track (DNT) preference, which lets users indicate they would prefer privacy rather than personalized content. If it is your job to figure out how to honor users’ Do Not Track requests within your organization, this implementation guide is for you.

This guide includes three major sections:

  • In this Introduction, we discuss how DNT fits into the history of Internet privacy.
  • The Case studies section details case studies from four different types of companies; we step through the resources the companies needed and the decisions they made as they implemented DNT, then conclude that section with a flow chart of decisions for your company to consider during your implementation.
  • The Tutorials section provides annotated code samples; if you are wondering how to detect a DNT header, and what to do about it when you do, this section will give you working code to get started quickly.

Subsections:

Up: The Do Not Track Field Guide

Next section: Case studies

[1] 85% of parents in the United States say they are more concerned about online privacy now than they were five years ago, according to the preamble of the Do Not Track Kids Act of 2011. Pew found those under 30 are twice as likely to say they can “never” trust social networking sites (28%) than those over 50 (14%) in the United States. Mary Madden and Aaron Smith, Reputation Management and Social Media (May, 2010). http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2010/Reputation-Management/Summary-of-Findings.aspx?r=1

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