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Sunday, May 1, 2011

Apple decides to the option to opt out of usage tracking in Safari

Apple has finally decided to join the ranks of browser vendors who give users the option to opt out of having their usage patterns tracked. They’re following the lead of the Mozilla Foundation who has devised a “gentleman’s standard” for opt out tracking where advertisers and webmasters would have to voluntarily adhere to the standard much like the voluntary compliance with robots.txt files.

In a nutshell the Mozilla-proposed standard would send a special header message to webservers when documents are requested informing the server that the user does not desire for their usage to be tracked. All of the top browser vendors have decided to include user tracking opt out as a feature in their latest releases,
and with Apple jumping on board, 84% of the web browser market now will support the proposed standard.
This is all well and good but really without a more enforceable standard there may be severe delays in widespread adoption and compliance with a user’s preferences. As the online advertising market relies heavily on tracking the browsing patterns of their users for improving their site, tracking conversions, browsing hot zones, etc, this may have a detrimental effect on internet advertising firms.
[via Wall Street]


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