I think that the conclusion that you draw from that study is sketchy.  They're really only asking what people think of when they read the words "Do Not Track".  I'd be more interested in knowing what people expect when then look at their particular browser setting and what it is they actually hope it will accomplish.  This naivety seems to come through clearly in the results.  The plurality thought it had nothing to do with their relationship with the site they were visiting at all. 

The most frequent answer (33%) was that Do Not Track would affect their Internet history.
For example, one participant wrote, “It would stop my browser from tracking my browsing

Regardless of how people interpret the words "Do", "Not" and "Track", I see a clear use case for requesting that activities not be used to track me between websites.  It seems like that was what Do Not Track was designed to do.  

However, I also see a clear use-case for when I would like to not be tracked at all.  I'd advocate for a "Do Not Log Anything At All" header that would allow us to respect such a preference.  

Really, I don't see good reason to jam one use case into something it so apparently wasn't designed for.  We'd be making some bold and wasteful assumptions on behalf of our users.


On Tue, Jan 13, 2015 at 4:04 PM, Christian Aistleitner <christian@quelltextlich.at> wrote:

On Tue, Jan 13, 2015 at 02:24:02PM -0600, Aaron Halfaker wrote:
> > Do Not Track is a technology and policy proposal that enables users to opt
> > out of *tracking by websites they do not visit*, [...]
> Do not track is explicitly for third party tracking.  We are merely
> proposing to count those people who do access our sites.

The first/third party distinction and expemptions are clearly cut in
technical documents (although along different lines in different
commentaries). However, from my point of view, this distinction
ignores real-life users.

I for one don't want to spend half an hour to figure out which parts
of a page are first/third party. I'd just expect the gathering/using
of data to stop altogether.

And according to [1], I am not the only user who feels this way:

  Preliminary results suggest that users do not share nearly so
  nuanced view of tracking, but rather simply expect data collection
  and use to cease when they click a Do Not Track button.

One can always do better than the minimum requirements of a standard.
For DNT, one can always choose to interpret it in a more restrictive
way and thereby move closer to the expectation of the users of the
above study.

Have fun,

[1] A. M. McDonald and J. M. Peha, "Track Gap: Policy Implications of
User Expectations for the `Do Not Track' Internet Privacy Feature,"
39th Telecommunications Policy Research Conference (TPRC), 2011.

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