Latest proposed draft for DNT specification published on Wednesday confirms that choice of enabling DNT should be left to the user and user agent such as browsers must not set DNT by default. If you don’t know: with the release of Windows 8 RP Microsoft announced in a blog post that in IE10 DNT will be turned on by default for users, here Microsoft took the decision on behalf of the users which is not fair instead decision should be left to user as Mozilla done. IE10’s Default DNT is not compliant with latest specification now and it will be ignored by ad companies and websites though DNT signal being sent from IE10. That means Microsoft have to change their decision and leave enable of DNT setting to the user.
When Microsoft announced DNT as Default for IE most thought this was aggressive against ad companies it seems specially they targeted Google here.
Here is what draft specification states
Explicit Consent Requirement
Note: This section was recently added and has not been extensively discussed with stakeholders. Please consider it a preliminary position.
An ordinary user agent MUST NOT send a Tracking Preference signal without a user’s explicit consent.
Example: The user agent’s privacy preferences pane includes controls for configuring the Tracking Preference signal.
Example: On first run, the user agent prompts the user to configure the Tracking Preference signal.
(1) Today we reaffirmed the group consensus that a user agent MUST NOT set a default of DNT:1 or DNT:0, unless the act of selecting that user agent is itself a choice that expresses the user’s preference for privacy. In all cases, a DNT signal MUST be an expression of a user’s preference. …]
Implication A: Microsoft IE, as a general purpose user agent, will not be able to claim compliance with DNT once we have a published W3C Recommendation. As a practical matter they can continue their current default settings, since DNT is a voluntary standard in the first place. But if they claim to comply with the W3C Recommendation and do not, that is a matter the FTC (and others) can enforce.