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Mozilla and Google to Develop “Do Not Track” Tool

Sara J Dufort

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If you have ever worried about your privacy on the internet, or how websites know exactly what advertisements to place on

Logo for Firefox

your home screen, then you are not alone. It is a known fact that companies can track where you are going on the web, in order to put a personalize touch to what you are seeing when you are browsing. Yet Mozilla announced that they are working on a privacy tool that would prevent them from doing so. This means that you would be able to go to websites without the fear of being tracked. This privacy tool is still in its infant stage, but Mozilla has begun to explain how they would do this.

Currently, in order for such tracking tools to work, companies utilize “cookies” in your internet browser that allow them to see where you go, and even how often. The new system would change a setting in the HTTP header, so that it would block this tracking from occurring. Alex Fowler, who is Mozilla’s technology and privacy officer, says that, “When the feature is enabled and users turn it on, websites will be told by Firefox that a user would like to opt-out of online behavior advertising.” Yet there are also challenges that they will face when developing such a tool.

A major problem that Mozilla already foresees is that in order for a tool like this to work, it would require that companies agree to not track the user’s movements. This could be very difficult to do, seeing as they use tracking as a potential source of income. To agree to not track them could mean losing profits, or losing the ability to attract new customers. It is going to be complicated getting them to agree to this, and they may even want compensation for deciding to do this. In response to concerns, Mozilla posted that they “recognizes the chicken and egg problem and we are taking the step of proposing that this feature be considered for upcoming releases of Firefox,” on a blog post.

This may mean that we could begin to see the new “Do Not Track” tool soon, and that it may be easier for us to monitor who has access to our information. The first edition of this privacy tool will surely have its problems, but with testing from consumers, it may someday become a regular addition to your web-browsing experience.

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The Student News Source of the University of New Haven
Mozilla and Google to Develop “Do Not Track” Tool