While Google released the Chrome extension Keep My Opt-Outs, Mozilla said it would continue to work on a tool added to the Firefox browser.
In a recent blog post Alex Fowler, Mozilla's technology and privacy officer, explains the "first of many steps" the company is taking to allow users to opt out of behavioral targeting: "a feature that allows users to set a browser preference that will broadcast their desire to opt-out of third party, advertising-based tracking by transmitting a Do Not Track HTTP header with every click or page view in Firefox" -- which owns about 20% of the global browser market, according to NetApplications.
Let's not forget that in December Microsoft announced Tracking Protection for Internet Explorer 9. The tool relies on lists users create of the sites in which they do not want to share information.
The downside, of course, to deleting or turning off tracking tools is that it gives us more irrelevant ads. No one's opposed to transparency and control, but would most Internet users prefer to be tracked -- to or pay for content?
Google, which owns about 10% of the global browser market, according to NetApplications, warns that installing the opt-out extension will likely create a cycle where the same ads repeatedly get served up -- a small price to pay, some believe, for keeping a little privacy and not having their habits tracked and recorded.
The companies building browsers simply want to integrate the privacy principles requested by the Federal Trade Commission. It's the idea that companies need to build into products consumer privacy features.
And just for good measure, allow me to call your attention to Data Privacy Day on Jan. 28. Yes, no fooling. ThePrivacyProjects.org, Intel, Google, Microsoft, and VISA sponsor the day. Will you celebrate?