What if "Do Not Track" worked like the IE pop-up blocker

The "Do Not Track" standard is being worked out at the moment. "Do Not Track" allows users to inform advertisers that they do not want to be tracked across multiple websites. The internet advertising industry is trying to get this watered down to a point where it's efficacy would challenge a Homeopath's suspension of disbelief.

Microsoft is looking at turning "Do Not Track" on by default for IE 10. A few in the internet advertising industry have "chucked their biscuits" (or would chuck the cookies be more appropriate) and said that they'll ignore the IE 10 settings and track users anyway if IE 10 did that. That it would be much better for IE 10 to implement "Do Not Track" in such a way that turning it on would require clicking through fifteen dialog boxes whilst singing Waltzing Matilda in a forgotten dialect of Armenian.

Privacy being a good thing unless it impedes the Panopticon's business model.

Privacy is something that people do care about and most aren't aware of how much their activity is tracked on the internet by private corporations trying to make a buck. They know that if they visit a social networking site, their data is tracked. They probably don't know that their activity is tracked across a whole lot of other unrelated sites. People should know this. Privacy is part of security.

At the moment, if you have the pop-up blocker turned on in IE, you get a little note every time a pop-up tries to open saying "site X tried to open a pop up - what do you want to do" (at which point you can choose to allow the pop up if you want to).

What if tracking worked like that? Where there was a pop up note saying "site X tried to track your activity on site Y - what do you want to do?"

It might not hurt for Microsoft to tout tracking protection a bit more forcefully when they start advertising IE 10. This needs to be a bigger issue than it is - and Microsoft's main competitor in the browser space has solid reasons for making it as hard as possible for users to block advertisers performing tracking operations.

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