Google commits Chrome to support 'Do Not Track'

Do Not Track researcher sees 'great step forward' as last holdout jumps on bandwagon

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He and others noted the difference.

"Big advertisers in the DAA [have committed] to responding to the Do Not Track header," said Alex Fowler, the global privacy and public policy leader at Mozilla, in a Thursday blog post. "What that response will be is still unclear, and we have some ongoing concerns to resolve."

Mozilla was the first browser maker to add Do Not Track support to its software.

Both Mayer and Fowler noted that work will continue in the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) to create an industry-wide standard for the policies Do Not Track should cover.

"The ad industry side will try to say that the policy part of Do Not Track is done, and that we can all go home now," said Mayer. "Privacy advocates will say, 'No, the DAA does not go far enough.' So there's lots of work still to be done."

The silver lining of today's announcement is that Chrome's adoption of Do Not Track puts the option in front of a majority of Internet users: According to Web metrics company Net Applications, the browsers that now, or will later this year, support the header request accounted for 98% of those used last month.

"This is absolutely a great step in the right direction," said Mayer.

Google did not immediately reply to questions about the time line of Chrome's support for Do Not Track, or how the browser will present the option to users.

Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer, on Google+ or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed . His email address is gkeizer@computerworld.com.

See more by Gregg Keizer on Computerworld.com.

Copyright © 2012 IDG Communications, Inc.

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