Arvind Narayanan's blog

The Trouble with ID Cookies: Why Do Not Track Must Mean Do Not Collect

The Do Not Track war has raged for well over a year now. There are, broadly, two Do Not Track proposals: one chiefly backed by the ad industry, and another advanced by privacy advocates. These proposals reflect vastly different visions for Do Not Track with vastly different practical consequences. Read more » about The Trouble with ID Cookies: Why Do Not Track Must Mean Do Not Collect

There is no such thing as anonymous online tracking

A 1993 New Yorker cartoon famously proclaimed, "On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog." The Web is a very different place today; you now leave countless footprints online. You log into websites. You share stuff on social networks. You search for information about yourself and your friends, family, and colleagues. And yet, in the debate about online tracking, ad networks and tracking companies would have you believe we're still in the early 90s — they regularly advance, and get away with, “anonymization” or “we don’t collect Personally Identifiable Information” as an answer to privacy concerns.

 

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Do Not Fool Will Make the Internet Explode

Joint post with Jonathan Mayer.

Earlier today Mozilla announced support for Do Not Fool, a proposed mechanism for opting out of April Fools' pranks. We cannot support this misguided effort.

First, Do Not Fool would require fundamentally reengineering the Internet, the HTTP protocol, and countless websites. Many of your favorite web destinations like The Onion rely on fooling. Read more » about Do Not Fool Will Make the Internet Explode

Do Not Track isn't just about Behavioral Advertising

A frequent misconception of Do Not Track is that the goal is to prevent tracking by online advertisers. In fact, tracking is a much broader problem on the web, and our Do Not Track vision at Stanford, while principally aimed at "third-party" tracking, does not focus on specific industry segments. Barocas and Nissenbaum said it best: Read more » about Do Not Track isn't just about Behavioral Advertising

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