Do Not Track List? AOL Letting Users Opt Out of Tracking

The New York Times is reporting that AOL will allow their users to opt out of tracking. This stops the behavioral information collected about visitors activities which is used to determine which ads will be presented.

AOL had a problem with their sharing of this information a couple of years ago when their aggregated information was used to find a specific user by her online activities.

Mention of a "Do Not Track" list similar to the telemarketing "Do Not Call" list could create some interesting developments as people interpret what the do not track is supposed to mean.

If ad tracking cookies become part of this then web analytics and ROI measurements will be difficult to do.

About the author

Frank Watson has been involved with the Web since it started. For the past five years, he headed SEM for FXCM -- at one time one of the top 25 spenders with AdWords. He has worked with most of the major analytics companies and pioneered the ability to tie online marketing with offline conversion.

He has now started his own marketing agency, Kangamurra Media. This new venture will keep him busy when he is not editing the Search Engine Watch forums, blogging at a number of authoritative sites, and developing some interesting online community sites.

He was one of the first 100 AdWords Professionals, a Yahoo and Overture Ambassador, and a member or mod of many of the industry forums. He is also on the Click Quality Council and has worked hard to diminish click fraud.