Tracking Do Not Track: New Ad Network Data Shows That 8 Percent Of Users Have DNT On

Tracking Do Not Track: New Ad Network Data Shows That 8 Percent Of Users Have DNT On

Getting Ready For Tracking Transparency Law to Kick In

Starting in 2014, California’s new law AB 370 requires all websites that collect personally identifying information to disclose in their privacy policies how they respond to browser Do Not Track signals.  FPF has launched AllAboutDNT as a resource for companies preparing to make a statement about DNT, providing a location to point consumers for more information.  The site includes instructions for activating the DNT header on a variety of devices as well as a list of companies with public commitments honoring DNT.

We are also releasing interesting data we recently received from Chitika, an online advertising network that honors browser DNT requests.  Chitika reports that its ad network delivers over four billion targeted ads each month to a network of over 300,000+ sites.  A sample of Chitika’s data shows that currently over 8 percent of users across all browsers are transmitting a DNT signal indicating a preference not to be tracked.

pie chart

chart 2

Browser  Share of sample
 DNT:1 signal ON
 Chrome

22%

2.06%

 Safari

13%

5.86%

 Firefox

12%

7.35%

 IE 6

6%

0.00%

 IE 8

13%

0.27%

 IE 9

5%

8.82%

 IE 10

8%

69.14%

 Android

8%

0.00%

 other

12%

1.97%

 Grand Total

100%

8.39%

This data is likely consistent with what an average ad network would see daily with respect to user implementation of DNT.  However, this data does not reflect what percentage of users have actually chosen to turn DNT on or off; determining that number is more complicated because the above statistics encompass browsers and versions for which DNT is unavailable, as well as browsers that have DNT on by default.  For instance, these numbers include users of IE 10, for which “Express” installations set the DNT setting on by default.  (Although 69% of IE 10 users have the DNT setting on, IE 10 users only make up 8% of the sample size.)  It’s also interesting that almost 31% of IE 10 users do not have DNT:1 on, which suggests that a surprising number have expressly adjusted the setting to allow tracking.  Additionally, the actual Firefox adoption rate of DNT is likely higher than 7.35%, because 10% of the Firefox data set uses Firefox 3, which does not have a built-in DNT feature.

For detailed statistics broken by browser version, please download this Excel file.

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