Citizens vote for privacy by setting Do Not Track

European Data Protection Day Monday, Jan 28th, 2013.

The number of web requests to European websites from browsers with Do Not Track set is now over 7% of the total, and rising.

Take a look at our dynamic Do Not Track chart below.  It is based on aggregated data collected this year by the CookieQ consent application from a subset of the websites that use it. These  are mainly UK based but websites in almost all other EU member states are also represented. It updates regularly and shows the current DNT percentage, broken down by major browser type. 

Internet Explorer 10, the new version of Microsoft's browser that caused such controversy by having the DNT signal on by default, still accounts for only a small part of the total having DNT set. The browser showing the greatest DNT percentage is Mozilla's Firefox, followed roughly equally by Google's Chrome, Apple's Safari and previous versions of Internet Explorer.

This must be a wakeup call for the Online Behavioural Advertising (OBA) industry. It had been assumed that the take up of DNT would be on the same order as their "self-regulatory" default opt-in solution, explaining the protests when Microsoft introduced Internet Explorer 10. The "self-regulatory" solution, where citizens click on a small blue triangle to opt-out from receiving ads from specific companies, has had a far smaller take-up.

This is a clear indication that citizens want much better control over data collected about them online. Advertisers and publishers should take this on board, and help forge relationships with customers based on explicit informed consent and genuinely winning their trust.

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