How we handle Do Not Track requests on Medium

At Medium, we take privacy very seriously. While there’s no consensus on how to best honor Do Not Track (“DNT”) requests in browsers, we’ve spent a lot of time thinking about this question, and want to help define a model of best practices for the entire web. To that end, we have been working closely with the Electronic Frontier Foundation to prototype a program that implements all of their recommendations regarding DNT.

Medium’s DNT policy aims to give users an extremely clear choice: if you would like to read in complete privacy, you can turn on DNT and stay logged out. We won’t use cookies or other methods to collect information about your activity.

Alternatively, if you would like a more customized and optimized experience on Medium, you can choose to sign in, but that will necessarily involve the logging of some actions you take, so that we can offer recommendations, build your reading list, and connect you with your network on Medium. Like most websites, we use cookies to authenticate your account and organize this information.

In order to explain this choice succinctly, we now show you the following message when you sign in to Medium with DNT settings enabled or in a private browser window:

You have Do Not Track enabled, or are browsing privately. Medium respects your request for privacy: to read in stealth mode, stay logged out. While you are signed in, we collect some information about your interactions with the site in order to personalize your experience, offer suggested reading, and connect you with your network. More details can be found here.

Cookies are unique identifiers that an internet service attaches to your browser or mobile device in order to recognize you. If you enable DNT in your browser, it sends us a header when you fetch a webpage, requesting that we do not track your movements online through cookies or other means.

We use cookies to collect information about your interactions with Medium content while you are logged in, and we only do so while you are logged in. Our notice is intended to make you aware that if and when you choose to sign in to your account, you understand that you are allowing us to collect information in that limited manner. This is consistent with EFF’s recommended best practices on Do Not Track. We do not track you across the internet, and we do not change or disable the DNT setting in your browser.

For more details about the data we collect on users who are logged in or do not have DNT enabled, please see our Privacy Policy.

We have crafted a policy that honors DNT requests to the best of our technological abilities, and is also true to our vision of the personalized experience we’d like to provide our users. We intend to be part of the ongoing debate about DNT, and are going to keep fine-tuning our implementation. We think this conversation is important for user privacy, and we hope it will help us all decide whether and how to best support DNT.

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