Google was singled out by Federal Trade Commission Chairman Jon Liebowitz this week due to not yet having detailed any plans for integrating the Do Not Track feature. What this particular privacy feature does is let consumers opt out of online tracking by Web sites and advertisers, Google belonging to both of these categories.
Apple just announced they’re going to put it in their Safari browser. So that gives you Apple, Microsoft and Mozilla. Really the only holdout — the only company that hasn’t evolved as much as we would like on this — is Google.
The FTC along with privacy advocates such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) have promoted Do Not Track as the supreme way to aid consumers in protecting their privacy. What the technology does is urge advertisers and sites to acknowledge incoming requests from browsers as an opt out demand by the user. Opera and Google have yet to disclose any plans regarding Do Not Track.
Opera and Google had the following to say concerning Do Not Track:
Such features could lead to better privacy but potentially contribute to a false sense of security. There are also some complications that arise when Web sites do not honor the Do Not Track feature. As such, we are exploring the area but have yet to make any announcements. - Thomas Ford, a spokesman for Opera
We continue to offer the Keep My Opt-Outs plug-in for Chrome … which already works to permanently opt users out of most ad profiling. - A Google spokesman in an email reply to questions
What Google’s plug in does is block targeted ads produced by approximately 60 ad networks and companies that adhere to self regulation efforts by the online advertising industry. Google plans to release similar tools for Firefox and Internet Explorer somewhere down the line as the plug in is currently only available for Chrome.
Whether or not Google is considering adding the Do Not Track feature to Chrome is still out in the open, however.
We’re encouraged that the standards bodies are working on these different header approaches, and will continue to be involved closely. – The spokesman from earlier
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Being passionate about software, Armin joined FavBrowser.com in early 2011 and has been actively writing ever since. Having accepted the challenge, he also enjoys watching anime, indulging in good books, staying fit and healthy, and trying new things.