ANA Strongly Opposes Microsoft’s Decision Regarding Internet Explorer 10 ‘Do Not Track’ Function

June 1, 2012 - New York, NY—The Association of National Advertisers (ANA) strongly opposes Microsoft’s unilateral decision to embed 'Do Not Track' functionality in version 10 of its Internet Explorer browser with a default setting in the ‘on’ vs. ‘off’ position.
ANA believes that Microsoft’s decision (if implemented):

  • Harms marketers’ effectiveness and productivity in reaching consumers and customers
  • Elevates the cost of business for all marketers wanting to leverage the Internet as an innovative business platform and consumer / customer communications channel
  • Removes choice by preventing consumers from experiencing interest-based advertising and making an informed decision about its benefits, the result of which will be untargeted, irrelevant online advertising
  • Undercuts the highly effective self-regulatory program developed over the past three and a half years by the Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA) – a consortium of the nation's largest media and marketing associations including the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4As), the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), the American Advertising Federation (AAF), the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and the Network Advertising Initiative (NAI), in conjunction with the Council of Better Business Bureaus (CBBB)

“Microsoft, which had been an active participant in the DAA’s finely tuned Self-Regulatory Program regarding data collection and interest-based advertising, acted irresponsibly through its unilateral action to embed ‘Do Not Track’ functionality into Internet Explorer 10 with a default setting in the ‘on’ position,” said Bob Liodice, President & CEO, ANA. “Microsoft’s decision, made without industry discussion or consensus, undercuts years of tireless, collaborative efforts across the business community—efforts that were recently heralded by the White House and Federal Trade Commission as an effective way to educate consumers and address their concerns regarding data collection, targeted advertising and privacy.  On behalf of the ANA’s more than 450 members and in conjunction with our sister associations that founded the DAA, we request that Microsoft reconfigure IE 10, which is now in preview mode, to contain a default ‘off’ browser setting for its ‘Do Not Track’ function in accordance with the DAA’s Self-Regulatory Program. This change in mode will provide consumers a real choice as to whether they do or do not want tailored advertising, the information to make a reasoned choice, and therefore will be consumer empowering.  We reject efforts by any provider or other group to unilaterally impose choices on the consumer in this critical area of the economy.”


Read the Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA) comments on Microsoft decision to embed Do Not Track in IE 10.