Type to search

Firefox, Chrome to launch “Do Not Track” feature


Firefox, Chrome to launch “Do Not Track” feature

Kelly MacNeil January 25, 2011

Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome have long been lauded for their sleek design compared to other outdated browsers, and now developers are planning on providing users with the tools to block advertisers from collecting personal information. The companies will be offering a "Do Not Track" feature in the near future that will boost user security, The Associated Press reports.

Currently, Google offers users with a tool that allows users to allow, or decline, ads based on their browsing history. However, the function only targets advertisements from the top 15 ad networks. Instead, the new tool will automatically block such pop ups once the feature is activated. Chrome and Firefox's main competitor, Microsoft's Internet Explorer, is expected to develop a similar tool, but users will have to manually choose which ad networks to block.

The move comes after government bodies announced they are attempting to crack down on the amount of personal information that online advertisers can collect. Such programs typically track consumers behavior online such as the links they clicks or websites they visit and compile a history of their online purchases. The Federal Trade Commission recently advised the creation of such a tool that will be offered by Chrome and Firefox.

Additionally, the Commerce Department urged companies to be up front about what type of information it would be tracking from its customers, and should provide consumers with an opt out choice when it comes to passing on such details.

Despite the availability of a do not track list, the issue may not be easily solved. A lot of the success is contingent on whether or not the ad tracking company wants to comply with the request. According to The Wall Street Journal, currently no companies have come forward to say they will participate.