September 14, 2012

Google Consents to Including ‘Do-Not-Track’ Features into its Browsers

Google’s (News Alert) Take Action page, which is still set up to collect anti-SOPA support states, “Just as we celebrate freedom, we need to celebrate the tools that support freedom.” But “celebrate” is not exactly the word one would use to describe Google’s consent to incorporate do-not-track (DNT) technology into its browsers.

But after lengthy (by industry standards) consideration over this “interesting” concept about this specific tool, Google has made the announcement that the latest Chrome developer build will support DNT standards. A spokesperson for Google said yesterday, “We undertook to honor an agreement on DNT that the industry reached with the White House early this year. 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."

DNT efforts were made public earlier this year beginning with Mozilla (NewsAlert), the first company to build DNT features into its browser, Firefox. Reports indicate that Microsoft was next with Internet Explorer, and then Apple with Safari 5.1. Opera made an announcement that it too was onboard with DNT efforts and is currently developing these tools.

While other Internet companies were jumping aboard the DNT bandwagon, Google engaged in some rather unsavory behavior. The Wall Street Journal was the first media source to discover that Google was circumventing the privacy settings of users of Apple’s Safari browsers. As a consequence, Google was fined $22.5 million by the FTC (NewsAlert). But $22.5 million according to sources, is merely five hours of work for Google.

Google has reached about 93 percent of the U.S. population with targeted ads, according to industry analysts. Their methods for generating revenue from ads are highly effective, though highly invasive. But seeing the success Google had after impregnating browsers with HTML cookies to track searches, Facebook (NewsAlert) and other companies followed the lead of the most prolific Data Snatcher in history. 

Want to learn more about HTML5? Then be sure to attend HTML5 Summit- a DEVCON5 Event, collocated with ITEXPO West 2012 taking place Oct. 2-5, in Austin, TX.  Stay in touch with everything happening at HTML Summit. Follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Brooke Neuman


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