Mozilla has added the 'Do Not Track' header it touted last month to the latest version of the Firefox 4 beta for Windows, Linux and Mac.
Mozilla is taking its
privacy proposal directly to users in the latest beta release of Firefox 4.
In it, the company has
brought the "Do
Not Track" HTTP header
it recently proposed to bear for users who want to
opt out of behavioral tracking by online advertisers.
"The Web is evolving quickly,
and so are the ways that your data is collected, shared and stored," Mozilla's
company blog says. "With the integration of the -Do Not Track' option into
the Firefox 4 beta, you can now check a -Do Not Track' box in the -Advanced' screen
of Firefox's Options. When this option is selected, a header will be sent
signaling to Websites that you wish to opt out of online behavioral
tracking. You will not notice any difference in your browsing experience
until sites and advertisers start responding to the header."
The company's move follows a
December report by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission that endorsed the idea of
a "Do Not Track" mechanism for Web users. Other browser vendors have jumped
into the fray as well. Google released an extension called "Keep
which allows users to permanently opt out of being tracked
online by advertisers' cookies, provided the companies offer opt-outs through
industry self-regulation programs.
Meanwhile, Microsoft has
added a feature to the Internet Explorer 9 beta called the "Track
Protection List." The
TPL contains Web
addresses the browser will only visit if the consumer goes
to them directly by clicking on a link or typing in the address.
All the approaches have
their pros and cons
, but privacy advocates have largely lauded efforts to
address the situation. Also in the area of privacy, Mozilla said it has fixed flaws
the CSS (cascading style sheets) Web standard that allowed a user's browser
history to be exposed.
The Firefox 4 beta is
currently available on Mac, Windows and Linux. A mobile version is also available
on Maemo and Android.