Demystifying Choice in Online Privacy

Several days before Chief Privacy Officer Steven Vine presents Datran Media’s position on privacy at the W3C Workshop on Web Tracking and User Privacy , he shares the following ideas on privacy with our readers.

You may not have noticed but the Do-Not-Track (DNT) revolution has reached a new stage. It has become a reality, and the digital marketing industry will now have to adapt and adjust.  The scope of this new DNT is still being shaped and defined.  It is important that we get this definition right, because DNT can be a successful tool to address the privacy concern of consumers.

Many industry veterans still see the debate about targeting and privacy as a zero sum game – either privacy wins or the marketers win. I do not see it in these terms. Do Not Track does not have to be an either/or proposition.  What’s good for marketers does not necessarily have to be something that is not good for consumers. The reality is quite the opposite; a DNT system that encourages meaningful choice for consumers will be a positive development for everybody.

The best way to achieve this is through a DNT mechanism that is deployed via a browser header request. Using the DNT header as a universal choice mechanism allows consumers to communicate their desire not to be tracked.  This solution creates a virtual “Do Not Trespass” sign, and the onus to comply would be on individual web sites, networks and technologies.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *