Thursday, February 23, 2012

Google Agrees to Respect 'Do Not Track' Browser Feature & Add it to Chrome

Typing on KeyboardShow of hands: who here would use a “Do Not Track” feature/button if it was supplied within their web browser? (That actually worked.)

Both Firefox and Internet Explorer have offered “Do Not Track” features since last year, but they’ve been rather ineffective since advertisers and tracking companies refused to honor the system. Google even put forth the effort to find loopholes in order to circumvent user privacy settings in both Safari and Internet Explorer to keep an eye on users’ browsing activity.

With the cat out of the bag and the Obama administration taking interest in an online privacy “bill of rights,” Google has joined the coalition of internet giants that are all-for the idea of a “Do Not Track” option in web browsers – that’s actually respected by online advertisers and their nosey organizations.

However,  there are some things that internet users should keep in mind about this new “Do Not Track” button:
The new do-not-track button isn't going to stop all Web tracking. The companies have agreed to stop using the data about people's Web browsing habits to customize ads, and have agreed not to use the data for employment, credit, health-care or insurance purposes. But the data can still be used for some purposes such as "market research" and "product development" and can still be obtained by law enforcement officers.

Facebook would also still have the ability to track user's online activity with the "Like" button and other functions.

Google plans on adding the ‘Do Not Track’ feature to the popular Chrome web browser by the end of 2012. Apple has already added the anti-tracking feature to Safari in their latest OS update (10.8), code name “Mountain Lion.”

[via Wall Street Journal]
Image Credit: The Italian Voice

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