Do Not Track at Read the Docs

Today, we are pleased to announce that Read the Docs honors Do Not Track (DNT). DNT is a browser preference that requests that a user not be tracked across the internet while browsing the web.

While there isn’t a consensus on precisely what DNT should mean, we are following the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s (EFF) guidelines for Do Not Track as we believe that gives a good balance between the privacy expectations of users and the reality of running a business and keeping Read the Docs sustainable.

What we implemented

Not much needed to change to make Read the Docs support DNT and many of these changes were already necessary for the EU’s new privacy regulation.

Here’s a brief list of what we did for Do Not Track:

  • Our logs that store any personal data are deleted after no more than ten days. We do this for all users even those who don’t have DNT enabled.

  • When a user has DNT enabled, we do not send data to our analytics. Based on our initial data, this looks like about a 6% reduction.

  • While this didn’t change, we reiterated that we do not do behavioral ad targeting regardless of DNT preference.

Full details on Do Not Track at Read the Docs can be found in our privacy policy.

What DNT means for our advertising

Advertising at Read the Docs was already built with privacy in mind. With our Ethical Ads, we previously committed to not tracking users, not selling user data, and hosting ads ourselves which all align perfectly with Do Not Track.

Our support for DNT formalizes our commitment to the high standards for privacy produced by the EFF. It also make us one of very few ad networks that honor Do Not Track.

The Ethical Ad Network

In a previous post, we mentioned that we are taking the same developer-centric, privacy-focused advertising we have on Read the Docs and expanding this to a larger ad network for open source infrastructure.

Supporting Do Not Track is an important milestone along the way as it confirms our commitment to privacy in advertising. We believe that ads don’t have to track people to be effective.

Our Ethical Ad network is still in its early stages, but if you want to know more or you know a project that could use it, please get in touch.