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    Wall Street Journal: Apple Adds Do-Not-Track Tool to New Browser

    The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple’s Safari browser is the latest to have a Do Not Track tool. Mozilla’s Firefox and Microsoft’s Explorer browsers have Do Not Track features to give consumers more control over the personal data that is gathered by Web sites or advertisers.  Google does not have a Do Not Track tool for its Chrome Web browser, but it offers Keep My Opt-Outs, which seeks to make it easier for online users to opt-out — and stay opted-out — of some kinds of targeted online behavioral advertising.

    The Journal reports:

    Apple Inc. has added a do-not-track privacy tool to a test version of its latest Web browser for keeping customers’ online activities from being monitored by marketers.

    The tool is included within the latest test release of Lion, a version of Apple’s Mac OS X operating system that is currently available only to developers. The final version of the operating system is scheduled to be released to the public this summer. Mentions of the do-not-track feature in Apple’s Safari browser began to appear recently in online discussion forums and on Twitter.
    The move by the Cupertino, Calif., company leaves Google Inc. as the only major browser provider that hasn’t yet committed to supporting a do-no-track capability in its browser, called Chrome. Microsoft Corp. and Mozilla Corp. both offer do-not-track features in their latest browsers. […]

    Do-not-track tools in browsers automatically send out messages to websites and online-advertising networks requesting that users’ movements around the Web not be tracked. The system will only work if Web companies agree to respect peoples’ tracking preferences.

    So far, major online-advertising networks, which use tracking to sell ads tailored to consumers’ tastes, haven’t yet agreed on how to honor the system.

    Some browser makers, including Microsoft and Apple, also offer other tracking protection features that don’t require the support of online advertisers.

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