Do not Track and Google, what is it really about?

google-do-not-trackYou might have heard that google is going to support "Do not track" Feature in it's native browser "Google Chrome", which tends to allow users to minimize the tracking occurrences on the websites they visit.

Some Security analysts are already praising this event and claiming it to be the first step in the right direction which will bring the privacy to the users on Internet, without obligating the fruitful user experience.

Ok, we do agree that it is the right step in the right direction which will may bring user privacy over the Internet when they are accessing the Internet, but what it seems is that, it is practically impossible. All the major websites needs users information to bring the user relevant contents, which is relevant to what he/she is searching for.

Facebook, Google, Yahoo, DigitFreak, mashable, twitter, pinterest etc all rely on the user information for serving the better content to it's member's and this is how they make money

Formulated by the White House, Federal Trade Commission and the Digital Advertising Alliance, Do Not Track will allow Internet users to add a Do Not Track header from browsers such as Chrome, Apple Safari, Mozilla Firefox and Microsoft Internet Explorer. This will tell Websites not to track them across the Web.

What "Do not track" option actually do is, it sends the http response header to the website you are visting which tells the website that the user do not want to be tracked and his data should not be stored for the other internal work, which could be used to serve content and not limited to prepairing contents or storing information for betterment of the self.

Mozilla was the first to introduce the "Do not Track" option for it's users back in 2011, when it released mozilla 4 in march. You can enable "Do not track" in mozilla easily following this tutorial.

So when all the major browsers and applications are now planning to support the "Do not track" feature, should we assume that we are now anonymous? -- NO!

The thing is that Google and all other companies announced that they are supporting "DO not Track" and provide such option for it's users which will automatically send website a http header, which communicates to the server to not track the user and his information.But what Google didn't announced is that, what actually is the websites are going to response to such headers -- Are they simply going to accept the order by a small ninch browser or -- the mighty website should overtake the response header?

Confused? right? Well, the thing is that, as long as there are no guidelines which defines what actually a website must do when it gets the http response which asks them to not to track the users, the "Do not Track" option is of no help.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), an online privacy advocacy organization, said much the same. "While today was a great advancement on the Do Not Track technology, it did not meaningfully move the ball forward on the Do Not Track policy," said Rainey Reitman, the EFF's activism director, in a Thursday blog.

the companies that lined up Thursday to support Do Not Track -- the ad networks, websites and corporations who belong to the latest online ad industry trade group, the Digital Advertising Association (DAA) -- haven't promised to actually stop tracking users' Web movements.

As mentioned before Google, Facebook and all other major websites needs user information to make money and provide it's user a better experience, which leads to the popularity of the specific service a website provides, -- and if the "Do not Track" option is going to roll in, it will actually affect their initial self.

Apple, Google, Microsoft, Mozilla and Opera all have representatives on the W3C's "Tracking Protection Working Group," the committee that's working on a Do Not Track policy standard as well as considering Microsoft's own Tracking Protection idea, which IE9 also uses (and which, until Microsoft jumped on the Do Not Track bandwagon, was the way IE9 stopped cookie and other tracking technologies).

The 52-page proposal published Thursday by the White House (download PDF) spelled it out: "The Administration expects that a company's public commitment to adhere to a code of conduct will become enforceable under Section 5 of the FTC Act (15 U.S.C. S 45), just as a company is bound today to follow its privacy statements."

, Google said on his blog:

if users have requested personalization (such as by signing up for particular services) or visit Websites that use "first-party" cookies to personalize the overall experience (for example, a news Website recommending articles to its readers, or a video site remembering your volume preferences), then browsers will not break that experience," Wojcicki wrote in a blog post.

He further wrote:

This agreement will not solve all the privacy issues users face on the web today. However, it represents a meaningful step forward in privacy controls for users. We look forward to making this happen.

Whatever there are the loopholes, we should ensure that we use as much precautions and use the opportunities to maintain our anonymity and minimize the occurrences to store our sensitive information.

The websites we visit are sure going to use those information for betterment of the service they provide or they could be useful for the better experience on the Internet, but your personal information and activities you do on Internet are your to keep.


You can find simple instructions which will help you enable "Do not Track" option in mozilla firefox on DigitFreak here.


Leave your comments

Post comment as a guest

0 Character restriction
Your text should be more than 5 characters
  • No comments found