Google is jumping on the privacy bandwagon, adding Do Not Track tools to Chrome.

Zack Whittaker | cnet

Search giant Google has included support for the Do Not Track privacy standard in the latest Chrome developer build, released on Thursday.

The search giant and browser maker previously said it would implement a solution to help prevent users’ actions from being tracked on the Web, and said it would have a solution out for Chrome and its advertising systems “by the end of the year.”

Do Not Track is a feature, slowly making its way to Web browsers, to help users opt out of tracking cookies and targeted advertisements. But advertisers fear that the privacy setting would restrict companies’ efforts to target advertising more effectively to users’ tastes and would suffer as a result.

A Google spokesperson told AllThingsD: “We undertook to honor an agreement on DNT that the industry reached with the White House early this year. 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.”

Firefox maker Mozilla, Google, and Microsoft have all joined the industry-wide effort to take Do Not Track settings mainstream. Mozilla first showed off its Do Not Track mechanisms in 2011 and soon after implemented the technology in Firefox. Opera jumped on the privacy bandwagon by offering Do Not Track in Opera 12.

Microsoft also plans to include the privacy setting by default in the next version of Internet Explorer, much to the complaints by the advertising industry.

As ZDNet’s Ed Bott explains, the Tracking Protection Working Group of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) decided that a browser can only enable Do Not Track by default if the decision “reflects the user’s preference”. But Microsoft defied the group, deciding that Do Not Track would be enabled by default in the ‘Express Settings’ setup of Windows 8, which includes Internet Explorer 10 by default, although a ‘Customize’ setting can be easily switch off the setting.

Apache soon after said it would “ignore” Do Not Track requests from Internet Explorer 10 because the Web server maker believes users’ should be given the express choice.

With more than 53 percent of the browser market, according to Net Applications, the move would heavily disrupt the advertising industry if Microsoft carries on full-steam with its plans.


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