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Yahoo no longer honoring 'Do Not Track' requests from browsers

updated 12:55 pm EDT, Sun May 4, 2014

Search engine turns focus from privacy concerns to personalization

Last week, Yahoo announced that it would no longer be honoring Do Not Track requests from browsers accessing the search engine and associated services. The move comes as the company attempts to provide a more personal experience to users, bringing policies in line with other companies that ignore Do Not Track requests such as Facebook and Google. This comes as a reversal to previous statements made by the company, which claimed to be "the first major tech company to implement Do Not Track."

Yahoo's policy blog (via Tumblr) made an announcement on the situation, stating that the company has "been at the heart of conversations surrounding how to develop the most user-friendly standard." Yet, the post says, the problem lies in the fact that there has yet to be "a single standard emerge that is effective, easy-to-use and has been adopted by the broader tech industry." The inability to find an effective measure led Yahoo to drop the initiative in order to provide a "highly personalized experience."

Yahoo account holders will be able to manage their privacy settings through Yahoo's privacy center, but the options it provides are only small changes, including the ability to opt out of advertisements. Doing so also requires the use of tracking cookies to keep the settings.

The change means that Yahoo will be ignoring browser settings which would have applied Do Not Track settings for all websites visited at the request of the user. However, it says the privacy of users "is and will continue to be a top priority" for the company.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Steve Wilkinson

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: 12-19-01

    Yahoo has search?

  1. prl99

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: 03-24-09

    @Steve sarcasm? If not, try changing your browser search to yahoo or Bing and see what they give you. Of course, now it probably doesn't matter because they all will violate the user's settings.

  1. ebeyer

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 06-09-04

    "However, the privacy of users "is and will continue to be a top priority" for the company."

    Do they think we don't care that they're blatantly BS'ing us or are they testing to see if we've read the article? It's pretty obvious that the privacy of users is a pretty low priority for the company, somewhere below having a fully-stocked sundae bar in the cafeteria.

  1. nouser

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 04-29-12

    DoNotTrackMe from Albine along with Ghostery from Evidon seem to control the snooping of Google/Yahoo/Facebook and their ilk. I find them quite effective at blocking the cookie monsters while allowing most legit commerce.

  1. kerryb

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 08-05-01

    People with Facebook or Linkedin accounts should never complain about protecting their privacy.

  1. SierraDragon

    Mac Elite

    Joined: 03-22-04

    I recommend DuckDuckGo.

  1. Grendelmon

    Senior User

    Joined: 12-26-07

    I second DuckDuckGo.

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