Microsoft doesn’t care about advertising. The company’s legendarily awful ads have been proving this for years, my personal favorite being some ditz insisting she’s a filmmaker before walking out of a Best Buy with a computer that can barely run professional editing software. But it also hasn’t cared about online advertising, and when Internet Explorer 10 came out, it was going to default to Do Not Track, much to the chagrin of advertisers who’d love to track users online activity. The company had their “Deal With It” shades ready and everything.
Except, oops, turns out they do care about advertising. Or, rather, they care about being compliant with Do Not Track standards, and advertisers pulled a neat little end run around Microsoft that screwed them.
The latest proposed draft of the Do Not Track specification published Wednesday requires that users must choose to turn on the anti-behavioral tracking feature in their browsers and software.
That means that Microsoft IE 10, which the company announced last week will have Do Not Track turned on by default, won’t be compliant with the official spec. Which means that tech and ad companies who say they comply with Do Not Track could simply ignore the flag set by IE 10 and track those who use that browser. Which means Microsoft has no choice but to change the setting.
…Wait a minute, does that mean the advertising industry is actually less ethical than Microsoft? Dear God, that’s terrifying.
(Image via Mr. Throk on Flickr)