Apache has released a patch to ignore the Do Not Track (DNT) setting from users of Internet Explorer 10 on websites running Apache web servers, as its dispute with Microsoft intensifies.
Do Not Track is a yet unapproved web standard currently being considered by the W3C, allowing users’ web browsers to automatically request not to be tracked by the websites they visit.
Part of the DNT standard requires that users have to “opt in” to DNT and that web browser developers should not pre-determine whether their users are to be tracked by websites or not.
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Because DNT is based on an honour system, the implicit assumption is that most users will not manually change their system settings to enable DNT, and since it will therefore only be enabled by a small percentage of users, it is hoped that most websites and advertisers will honour the wishes of users who ask not to be tracked.
However, according to H-Online, Microsoft has chosen to ignore this aspect of the standard, enabling DNT for all its users by default.
This has led to Apache taking the extraordinary retaliatory step of issuing a patch to ignore any DNT requests from any user running the Microsoft Internet Explorer 10 web browser.