Google Makes Efforts to Add Do-Not-Track Option to Chrome

Sep 18, 2012 12:02:04Posted by John Skorick, MyAKA Founder & CEO

Google Makes Efforts to Add Do-Not-Track Option to Chrome

Have you ever noticed that advertisements on the websites you visit tend to be for products and services related to your interests? That's not just coincidence, as online advertisers have the ability to track the sites you visit to tailor ads to your preferences. Earlier this year, the government stepped in and asked major internet companies such as Mozilla, Microsoft and Google to offer users better control over what information is being collected when they go online, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Mozilla's Firefox, as well as Microsoft's Internet Explorer and Apple's Safari already provide a "do-not-track" (DNT) button that, when selected, prevents online advertisers from tracking your information. Google's development of such an option has been slow, considering Chrome is one of the most popular web browsers being used today, but the company is finally getting the ball rolling. Computerworld reports that the company's DNT option is currently in the developmental stages, and is available in the Chromium open-source project. Google hopes to include this button as a standard option for the browser in one of its regular updates by the end of the year, providing users with more choices when it comes to internet privacy.

"We undertook to honor an agreement on DNT that the industry reached with the White House early this year," Google spokesman Rob Shilkin recently told All Things D. "To that end we're making this setting visible in our Chromium developer channel, so that it will be available in upcoming versions of Chrome by year's end."

Some browsers automatically enroll users in the DNT service, but the option appears to be inactive by default for Google Chromium, the developer platform, and Apple's Safari browser, according to Computerworld. You can check the privacy settings to determine what your browser is set to, and you may need to visit the advanced setting page to find the information.

While the DNT option helps to protect you against some online agencies obtaining your information, it is important to note that it may not put a stop to all data collection. The line between consumer and advertiser rights is still being debated, so not all services offer protection against information being shared with online marketers. For instance, Facebook is not involved, as "liking" businesses and other pages on the social networking site will still influence the ads that appear when you use the website, the Journal reports.