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request headers, and without going into extreme detail about HTTP headers, just know that every time you visit Google,
Amazon, Facebook, and so on, your browser provides an HTTP request to retrieve information located at the server of
those domains. The new DNT information attached to the browser request currently has three values: 1 means “Don't
allow websites to track me,” 0 means “Allow websites to track me, and Null is the default setting should the user not take
any action to set their browser preference to a 1 or 0. Now, because this information is attached to every single request
from a user's browser, the server on the receiving end has to handle this information accordingly, and this is where it
gets even more interesting. Right now the industry is trying to adopt DNT into newer browser versions while also trying
to figure out what the receiving servers should do with that DNT data ( ) .
At the time of this writing, Internet Explorer 10 on the Windows 8 operating system is set to have DNT set to 1
by default, which means without the user taking any action, all websites, ads, and data providers will see the request
header of “don't track me.” As you may have guessed, this is a huge concern in the advertising industry since IE 10 is
set to be a large chunk of the browser market in the coming months and years. To shed a little more light on this from
an advertising standpoint, the CEO of the IAB, Randall Rothenberg, issued a statement to all IAB colleagues when this
information was made available.
“Dear IAB Colleague, Today, Microsoft announced that the newest version of Internet Explorer,
packaged with the Windows 8 Release Preview, will have a so-called “Do Not Track” flag set to “on”
by default. This represents a step backwards in consumer choice, and we fear it will harm many of
the businesses, particularly publishers, that fuel so much of the rich content on the Internet.”
—Randall Rothenberg, IAB
In that abridged quote, you can see this is being taken very seriously because many ad networks, publishers, and
data providers fear that they will not be able to grab metrics from users on the IE 10 browser by default.
However, keep in mind that this is not a standard yet. The W3C is currently working on it, and most of the major
browsers to date include some sort of DNT toggle so each request has a DNT value included. Some of the DNT
settings from the major browsers are demonstrated in Apple's Safari in Figure 13-5 .
Figure 13-5. The DNT setting in Apple's Safari browser
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