Starting today, anyone visiting Yahoo will be tracked by default, regardless of whether they've enabled the Do Not Track setting on their browser. It's a bold stance by the company, which described the shift as a personalized experience by default, and a serious blow for the Do Not Track standard, which has suffered major setbacks in recent years. Users can still manage their privacy settings through the Yahoo Privacy settings, but they'll have to do so individually, and Yahoo sites won't be responding to any automated anti-ad-tracking signals like DNT. "We fundamentally believe the best web is a personalized one," the privacy team said in a blog post.
Do Not Track was envisioned as a single setting that would allow users to opt-out of ad-tracking across the web, but the standard has struggled to get advertisers and browsers on-board. Both groups make hundreds of millions of dollars from targeting ads based on user's browsing habits, and proved reluctant to build an opt-out method that might cut into their profits. After legislation that would mandate the setting stalled in congress last year, DNT's future has been unclear. Neither Google nor Facebook currently honors the setting, although many groups continue to support it.