Internet Explorer 10 on Windows 8 will be the first major browser to have the ‘Do Not Track (DNT)’ component switched on by default. Microsoft will however allow users to change the default setting if they wish. The DNT initiative is endorsed by the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the privacy setting is already available to Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari. Google Chrome users will need to download and use an official DNT add-on.
TIP: Twitter recently joined the DNT initiative, which means if you enable DNT on any of the browsers mentioned above, Twitter will stop collecting cookie data from you. 🙂
What about the issues? It’s up to the ad networks as to whether they action the DNT=1 HTTP header command. I also haven’t seen any visual indication on any browsers as to whether a website supports the DNT feature, so this is a little unclear on how or whether users will use or more importantly understand this feature. Which is one reason why IE 10 will have DNT enabled by default. We can only hope the other browsers will follow the Microsoft lead very soon.
Remember: In the event companies don’t respect the Do Not Track signal, Internet Explorer 10 will though continue to include Tracking Protection list support to help consumers block unwanted tracking with two clicks.
TIP: Find out how trackable your browser is with https://panopticlick.eff.org/
For me, it’s all about the user having a voice or is that a choice. Users should have control of their online identity or at least know who/where there identity is being shared with. Users will then feel reassured that they are in control and that is one thing I personally will always champion!
Safe surfing folks!