Chrome To Have 'Do Not Track' Feature
September 15, 2012

Google Adding ‘Do Not Track’ To Its Browser

Lee Rannals for - Your Universe Online

Google has added a "Do Not Track" option to Chrome's developer channel, putting the privacy feature's availability on track to hit computers by the end of this year.

The Do Not Track feature is a way for users to opt out of being tracked by websites that want to keep up with your interests for advertising purposes. It is a form of advertising that marketers can use to try and give you more relevant ads when visiting webpages.

Google struck an agreement with the Obama administration earlier this year to implement the Do Not Track option on its popular web browser.

“We undertook to honor an agreement on DNT that the industry reached with the White House early this year," Google spokesman Rob Shilkin told All Things D. "To that end we´re making this setting visible in our Chromium developer channel, so that it will be available in upcoming versions of Chrome by year´s end.”

Once the feature is turned on in the browser, Chrome adds a code to the request header to let advertisers and sites to not track the computer.  However, just because the feature works in theory doesn't mean all sites and advertisers will comply.

Another topic of debate among web browser developers is whether the "Do Not Track" feature should be defaulted on or off. The majority of computer users do not mess with their browser preferences, so having the default off would mean that plenty of users would browse the web unaware of who is paying attention to their movements.

Microsoft decided to turn on the Do Not Track button by default in its Internet Explorer 10, but the developers of the Apache Web server say they will ignore Do Not Track requests from visitors using this browser because they essentially didn't have to choose not to be tracked.

Facebook, the world's largest social network, hasn't agreed to participate in the Do Not Track movement at all.

Google has become the last of the major browser creators to add a Do Not Track option to its software, joining Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Safari for trying to protect its users' privacy.