Do not track is one of the most hyped, and least understood, aspects of the next generation of Web browser. So what makes the Mozilla implementation different than others?
By Sean Michael Kerner: More stories by this author:
Mozilla is submitting its do-not-track capability as a draft specification to the IETF for review. The do-not-track (DNT) feature is built into the new Firefox 4 Web browser, which is currently at its first release candidate stage (RC1).
DNT is an effort to provide both Web users and advertisers with a mechanism to opt in or out of behavioral tracking and other online data collection.
Other browser vendors, including Google Chrome and Microsoft's IE, are also implementing their own versions of capabilities to prevent tracking. But in contrast to some of the techniques rival browsers are exploring, Mozilla is aiming to convey users' privacy intentions directly to ad networks and websites.
"What we did in Firefox 4 is we've put a preference in our product that tells websites when a user doesn't want to be tracked," Johnathan Nightingale, director of Firefox development at Mozilla, told InternetNews.com.
Nightingale explained that Firefox 4's DNT, when enabled, sends an HTTP header that says, DNT=1, which means: "do not track me."
"It's up to the ad networks whether they respect that or not, but this point it's a signal we never had before," Nightingale said. "We know it will evolve but we just wanted to start the conversation with a simple binary expression that I want to be tracked or I don’t want to be tracked."
Currently Firefox 4 users aren't provided with a visual notification in the browser if a website supports Mozilla's DNT. Mike Beltzner, Mozilla's director of Firefox, told InternetNews.com that the hope is to be able to provide that as well as other information over time.Read More...
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