Mozilla's Firefox and Microsoft's Internet Explorer have put a 'Do Not Track' feature in their latest updates.
Microsoft announced the arrival of the release candidate version of Internet Explorer 9 (meaning it has the potential to be the final product), which had been in beta mode for the past few months. While the release candidate has several new features, the most prominent will be tracking protection.
After making an official proposal, Mozilla announced the beta version of its next Firefox browser, complete with 'Do Not Track' technology is now in place.
With Microsoft's 'Do Not Track' function, users have the ability to halt the browser's communication with certain websites to help keep information private. According to Microsoft, users will be able to download customized tracking protection lists from the organizations they trust. Thus far this includes Abine, PrivacyChoice, TRUSTe, and EasyList.
A better browsing experience combined with better sites really starts to deliver on the promise of what we set out to do with IE9, which is to deliver a more beautiful Web for users, Ziad Ismail, director of product management for Internet Explorer, said in a statement.
With the integration of the Do Not Track option into Firefox 4 Beta, you can now check a Do Not Track box in the Advanced screen of Firefox's Options. When this option is selected, a header will be sent signaling to websites that you wish to opt-out of online behavioral tracking. You will not notice any difference in your browsing experience until sites and advertisers start responding to the header, Mozilla posted on its blog.
Over the past few months, controversy has erupted regarding third-party advertisers accessing people's private information through the web. The practice known as data mining has been debated by congress, browsers, advertisers and privacy advocates alike. A 'Do Not Track' list would allow people to keep their private information out of the hands of advertisers.
The header approach has been adopted by Google for its Chrome browser as well. With this, the only non-major browser to not have adopted anything officially is Apple's Safari.
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