The privacy firm Disconnect, the on-line privacy advocacy nonprofit The Electronic Frontier Foundation, along with several tech companies announced Monday that they were working on implementing a Do Not Track (DNT) feature into popular web browsers.
The new future is stronger than previous similar attempts to design something that could protect Internet users from privacy intrusions. The new DNT standard does not only have a protective role, but it also prompts advertisers and governments to respect people’s wish of not being tracked on-line.
The DNT standard will not be turned on by default in major browsers, so Chrome, Firefox and other browsers’ users who are fond of their privacy would have to enable it manually within their Internet browsers.
Other companies that expressed their support for the new project are non-trackable search engine DuckDuckGo, the ad-blocking extension Ad-Block, and the famous analytics platform Mixpanel.
EFF’s head Peter Eckersley recently said that the companies interested in developing and implementing the new standard seek to provide their customers with the possibility of avoiding being silently tracked on-line against their will or have their on-line activity monitored.
The EFF also said that transparent and fair practices when gathering data for advertising purposes were crucial for both privacy and on-line commerce. DNT feature will also be available to FireFoxOS and iOS users who wish to brief websites that they will like their personal data to remain private.
But stealthy online tracking of users is a commonplace practice for most Internet giants including Google and Facebook. Sadly, the practice is kept secret from users, who are not asked whether they would like their activity and preferences to be tracked.
One hint that you are being tracked is the ads you see on the sites you access. Those ads are tailored after your previous browsing history. For instance, let’s say you are a student that sought on-line courses on various topics during a previous Internet session – you will see the ads revolve around student life or academic institutions you may be interested in in current sessions.
How’s that possible? Well, your search engine shares your browsing data with countless advertising brokers and tracking companies via advertising exchanges.
The DNT feature would be more effective in reining in these intrusive practices. It would also be more than an ad-blocker or tracking-blocker while including those functions.
Disconnect CEO Casey Oppenheim said in a recent statement that the new technology is designed to stop the wave of unfair advertising practices, and allow the users’ right to privacy and advertising to co-exist.
Image Source: Ars Technica
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