Google Chrome to Get Do Not Track Soon

This is good news; particularly for those of us who are concerned about privacy, and also for those who just don’t want to give away marketing info for free

An option to enable Do Not Track headers landed in today’s Chromium release which web users can make use of to notify servers, websites and scripts that they do not want to be tracked on the Internet. The main aim of Do Not Track is to provide Internet users with an option to opt-out of targeted advertising on the Internet.

The idea here is to provide users with an option in the browser to enable the Do Not Track header there. This has caused some controversy recently when Microsoft announced that it would enable DNT by default for all users of the Internet Explorer 10 browser as it goes against the idea of making DNT a user’s choice (in contrast to a browser developer’s choice for the user).

The browser will send the Do Not Track header with connection requests when the feature is enabled by the user. From there, it depends largely on the advertising companies as there is no legal requirement to accept the request. If it is honored by the advertiser, user tracking is disabled. This does not mean that ads won’t be displayed to the user. The advertisement displayed may however not be as personal as it would have been if the Do Not Track header would not have been included in the header.

Google Chrome is the only major browser that did not support Do Not Track until now. Firefox, Opera and Internet Explorer 10 all support the feature. The feature is available under Privacy in the Chrome settings. The easiest way to get there is to enter chrome://chrome/settings/ in the address bar, scroll down, click on show advanced settings to reveal additional browser preferences including the Privacy section here.

chrome do not track

To activate simply check the “Send a ‘Do Not Track’ request with your browsing traffic box. Chrome from that moment on will include the DNT header with all requests that it makes. Expect the setting to go through all versions of Chrome in the coming weeks and months. (thanks Ilev)

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