What is that symbol? It is the Advertising Option Icon, which the Internet Advertising Bureau is reportedly encouraging its members to use:
The IAB is calling on its members to display this innocuous icon on Web pages that are actually embedded with tracking cookies, Web beacons and other stealthy tools that help advertising networks track precisely where you go and with whom you associate on the Internet….
By clicking on the triangle, you can view a disclosure statement. And you should be able to click through to a Web page that gives you the choice to opt out of being tracked.
Basically this is a bid for self-regulation. Around 11 percent of IAB members (who I assume represent something less than the entire Internet!) use the symbol. Which I’d never seen before, and I would assume means nothing to most people. Carmen Balber of advocacy group Consumer Watchdog is not impressed:
The turquoise triangle “is another example of the failure of self-regulation to protect consumers from unwanted monitoring of every move they make on the Internet and their mobile devices,” says Balber. “Action by Congress and the FTC to require a do-not-track-me option is crucial for consumers to gain control over their own information.”
What’s better: Design + marketplace, or federal legislation? Will this symbol become as familiar as the Swoosh? Or will it quietly fade away?
Internet advertisers begin offering new do not track icon