While Yahoo's new CEO may see mobile as a big part of their future, they do not see privacy as part of it. Announced this week on their Policy Blog, Yahoo has stated that they will be ignoring the Do Not Track header on Internet Explorer 10. It's pretty clear you are wondering why they would do this to just a single version of a single browser brand. Yahoo explained this.
In principle, we support "Do Not Track" (DNT). Unfortunately, because discussions have not yet resulted in a final standard for how to implement DNT, the current DNT signal can easily be abused. Recently, Microsoft unilaterally decided to turn on DNT in Internet Explorer 10 by default, rather than at users' direction. In our view, this degrades the experience for the majority of users and makes it hard to deliver on our value proposition to them. It basically means that the DNT signal from IE10 doesn't express user intent.
Ultimately, we believe that DNT must map to user intent - not to the intent of one browser creator, plug-in writer, or third-party software service. Therefore, although Yahoo! will continue to offer Ad Interest Manager and other tools, we will not recognize IE10's default DNT signal on Yahoo! properties at this time.
So, because Microsoft turned on privacy by default in their browser, Yahoo is mad. That makes sense considering targeted ads is the only way Yahoo makes any money right now. This brings up an interesting topic, though. Should Yahoo have the ability to opt out of the DNT system because they disagree with a browser's default settings? Google recently lost a case revolving around ignoring a browser's privacy settings, so it seems like, legally, the ball falls in Microsoft's court here. On the other hand, DNT is not yet a standard set by the World Wide Web Consortium, so ignoring its settings could simply be a condition of "strict HTML compliance."
It's a bad time for Yahoo to be playing around with possibly pissing customers off with their turn around plan only getting started. Is this enough for you to not use Yahoo, even as they launch new products and services? Let us know in the comments.