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Google Says Chrome Will Support ‘Do Not Track’

February 24, 2012 by   | Category: Around The Net

Google will add support for “Do Not Track” to its Chrome browser some time before the end of 2012.

The move is a reversal for Google, which has resisted supporting the technology that lets users opt out of the online tracking conducted by websites and advertisers.

Google’s change of heart came as the White House today pushed a privacy bill of rights and said it would introduce new online privacy legislation in Congress.

Chrome joins other browsers — Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 9 (IE9) and Mozilla’s Firefox — which can already transmit special information with every HTTP page request that tells sites the user does not want to be tracked.

Apple’s Safari currently supports Do Not Track, although turning it on requires a user to select “Send Do Not Track HTTP Header” from the “Developer” menu on the browser; Apple will make the setting easier to find in the Privacy section of Safari’s Preferences pane this summer when it releases OS X Mountain Lion.

Opera, from the Norwegian browser maker Opera Software, does not support Do Not Track. Two weeks ago, however, Opera launched an experimental build of its desktop browser with support for for the anti-tracking technology.

Mozilla was the first browser maker to add Do Not Track support to its software.

The silver lining of today’s announcement is that Chrome’s adoption of Do Not Track puts the option in front of a majority of Internet users: According to Web metrics company Net Applications, the browsers that now, or will later this year, support the header request accounted for 98% of those used last month.

 

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