Firefox to Offer Do-Not-Track Tool ... With One Catch
Companies will first have to agree not to track you
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 24, 2011 9:27 AM CST
A celebration sign is posted at Mozilla headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., Friday, July 31, 2009.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

(Newser) – If you don’t like the idea of online companies tracking your every move, you may want to start using Firefox. Mozilla announced its Web browser will be the first to answer the FTC’s call for a do-not-track system, the Wall Street Journal reports. Just one problem: In order for the browser's do-not-track feature to actually protect your privacy, tracking companies must first agree to stop monitoring users who have enabled the feature (its default setting will be "off")—and so far, no companies have announced they would do so.

In the fight for increased online privacy, Web browsers are the best choice for blocking such tracking—but there’s a problem, notes the Journal: The companies that make the biggest Web browsers, Microsoft and Google, also have online ad businesses … which use online tracking. Even Firefox, which doesn’t have its own ad business, gets most of its funding from an advertising arrangement with Google. Microsoft and Google also have plans for increased privacy features in their upcoming browsers, but neither is expected to be as user-friendly as the Firefox tool. It's unclear when Firefox's feature will go live.

 

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