The Digital Advertising Alliance said Tuesday that it would not require participating companies to honor Microsoft's default browser-based do not track regime. "Machine-driven do not track does not represent user choice; it represents browser-manufacturer choice," DAA said in a statement.
DAA has a voluntary do not track program that honors browser-based do not track if it is an opt-in choice, but said Tuesday that "it is not a DAA Principle or in any way a requirement under the DAA Program to honor a DNT signal that is automatically set in IE10 (Interenet Explorer 10) or any other browser. The Council of Better Business Bureaus and the Direct Marketing Association will not sanction or penalize companies or otherwise enforce with respect to DNT signals set on IE10 or other browsers."
Microsoft, Mozilla and others had committed to the Obama Administration that they would support the do-not-track browser option also supported by DAA, but the default setting takes it up a notch.
DAA said at the time they were troubled and said that default setting "may ultimately narrow the scope of consumer choices, undercut thriving business models, and reduce the availability and diversity of the Internet products and services that millions of American consumers currently enjoy at no charge."
Jeff Chester, executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy, which has backed strong do not track protections, saw the move as part of a larger effort to undermine do not track.
"[DAA's] announcement today to punish Microsoft for putting consumers first is an extreme measure designed to strong-arm companies that care about privacy," he said. "The DAA's campaign to penalize Microsoft is part of a broad-based attack by ad industry lobbyists against Do Not Track, including their attempt to derail the work of the W3C last week in Amsterdam."
DAA members include the American Association of Advertising Agencies, the American Advertising Federation, and the Association of National Advertisers.