NEWS6 May 2011

Effective Measure backs do-not-track browser options

Asia Pacific Data analytics

AUSTRALIA— Web audience measurement firm Effective Measure has come out in support of the do-not-track capabilities being developed for web browsers and says it will adhere to them – even while industry bodies make the case that tracking for genuine research should be permitted.

Scott Julian

Scott Julian

The company uses both a panel approach and cookie-based tracking to count visitor numbers for its website clients. It already allows web users to opt out of all tracking by the company using an opt-out cookie, but has indicated it will adapt its system to ensure it works with the do-not-track mechanisms within browsers.

CEO Scott Julian said: “We fully support the individual’s right to absolute privacy. The do-not-track browser option in Firefox 4 and Internet Explorer 9 is a timely solution that will counteract any doubts certain web users may have about our business.

“Web users should be given the choice to opt out – participatory democracy is key to fully understanding an ever-evolving online community.”

Industry bodies Esomar and Casro have recently written in support of do-not-track mechanisms provided they are limited in scope to advertising tracking and tracking where there is criminal or malicious intent.

The associations say they want to avoid a scenario where all-encompassing do-not-track mechanisms unwittingly block researchers from monitoring the online behaviours of individuals who might have agreed to participate in tracking studies.

However, research presented at a Worldwide Web Consortium workshop last week suggests many consumers believe do-not-track should mean no data collection at all, regardless of the purpose.