For more than a year, Apple’s Safari, Mozilla’s Firefox and Microsoft’s Explorer browsers all have had Do Not Track features to give consumers more control over the personal data that is gathered by Web sites or advertisers. Now, in its latest test version (not a fully released version) of its Chrome browser, Google is adding Do-Not-Track support, reports All Things D:
Google has included support for the Do Not Track privacy setting in its latest Chrome developer build, which was released today.
Do Not Track — which aims to help users opt out of being tracked across Web sites for the purposes of targeted advertising — is contentious and still somewhat theoretical. But since Chrome is close to becoming the world’s most-used browser, if it’s not already, its support for DNT is pretty important.
Of all the major browser providers, Google had moved the slowest on Do Not Track, but had earlier this year agreed at the request of the Obama Administration that it would implement DNT. […]
When Do Not Track is turned on within a browser, a snippet that specifies “DNT:1” is added to the request header whenever a user wants to go to a new Web site. Once Chrome adds this to its full release, that will happen across all major browsers.
But critics say it’s not necessarily clear what sites and advertisers have to do in response to DNT being turned on.
That could be a significant problem, because users will think they’re not being tracked since they explicitly changed a setting (seems like a reasonable assumption!) — but they may just be making a request that can be ignored. Talk about defeating the purpose.