Last week, Yahoo announced that it would be implementing a Do Not Track mechanism across its global network by early summertime. The company has also now made a special point of saying that Yahoo Web Analytics will support this as well.
Yahoo VP, Data and Privacy, Shane Wiley writes:
Yahoo! is excited to be one of the first large online companies to announce live, global support for Do Not Track (DNT)! This commitment continues our leadership in user privacy where Yahoo! was among the first to launch an Ad Interest Manager (3 years ago) and followed this up by being the first to support the AdChoices Icon program (2 years ago).
Yahoo’s DNT solution has been in development since last year and is implemented in-line with Digital Advertising Alliance’s (DAA) principles which provide guidelines for the appropriate use of online behavioral advertising (also called “interest-based” advertising) and multi-site data – AND – our proposal to the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the international standards body that manages many of the technical elements of the Internet. Of course, we will continue to follow further DNT-related developments in the U.S., Europe, and elsewhere very closely.
Also last week, the Federal Trade Commission issued its final report for how companies should handle consumer privacy, which includes the aforementioned Do Not Track feature. This had previously been mentioned in the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights intorduc
Google has also indicated it will include a "Do Not Track" button for Chrome. Google did already start defaulting searches by signed-in users to SSL (Google recently announced the worldwide expansion of this), which does have an anonymized impact on sites using Google Analytics. Queries from such searches appear as "not provided" in Google Analytics, much to the chagrin of SEOs and marketers.
In fact, Google referrals may be getting even more mysterious, because Mozilla is reportedly working on adding encrypted search to its own Google search box.