updated 02:50 pm EST, Mon January 24, 2011
Google, Mozilla release web tracking opt-outs
Mozilla and Google have taken the FTC's advice and give users a Do Not Track option when browsing. The former's Firefox and the latter's Chrome browsers will let users click a box that will then disable the browser's ability to track browsing history that is then used to send out targeted ads. Mozilla will take a header-based approach that its makers believe is more universal and clearer than cookies or blacklists. Users won't need to load ad networks and advertiser lists for this to work, either.
The problem with this approach, however, is that both the browser and websites that are being visited need to recognize the wish not to track browsing.
Google's solution to the problem is Keep My Opt-Outs, a Chrome extension. It lets users opt out permanently from cookies that track ads but does rely on cookies and ad networks. With other methods, users would have to frequently ensure their opt-outs are current and as-desired. The mode will also allow blocking Flash cookies.
Google is making the code for the extension available to makers of other browsers, and is offering it on an open-source basis.
Microsoft said it has plans to add a Do Not Track feature of its own back in December, called Tracking Protection. [via ReadWriteWeb]