Google Agrees to Honor 'Do Not Track' Button

Coalition of web giants agree not to use data for advertising

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 23, 2012 11:10 AM CST

(Newser) – A coalition of Web companies headlined by Google has agreed to actually honor "do not track" options in browsers—sort of. The companies will still collect some user data, but they've pledged to ensure it's not used for advertising, employment, credit, health care, or insurance purposes, the Wall Street Journal explains. Tracking data will still be used for "market research" and "product development," and can be provided to law enforcement officials when requested.

"It's a good start," says an ACLU representative. "But we want you to be able to not be tracked at all if you so choose." The concession follows a White House call for a "privacy bill of rights," that would guarantee Web surfers more control over their personal information. Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Safari all have "do not track" options already, but Web tracking companies and advertisers have been under no obligation to comply, and largely haven't. Google will add the button to Chrome this year.

Soon, you'll be able to prevent web companies from using the tracking data they're collecting on you in certain ways.
Soon, you'll be able to prevent web companies from using the tracking data they're collecting on you in certain ways.   (Shutterstock)
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