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Chrome To Get 'Do Not Track' 111

puddingebola tips news that support for the 'do-not-track' privacy setting will soon be coming to Google Chrome. The feature was implemented for Chromium v23.0.1266.0 in a recent revision. Google has said DNT will make it into the public release of Chrome by the end of year. This will bring Chrome up to speed with Firefox, which has had it for a while, and IE 10, which will have it turned on by default. As for why Google is the last of the three do implement it, the LA Times points out a post earlier this year from Google's Susan Wojcicki: 'There’s been a lot of debate over the last few years about personalization on the web. We believe that tailoring your web experience — for example by showing you more relevant, interest-based ads, or making it easy to recommend stuff you like to friends — is a good thing.'"
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Chrome To Get 'Do Not Track'

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  • Translation (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RaceProUK ( 1137575 ) on Saturday September 15, 2012 @03:46PM (#41347657)
    "DNT will hurt our advertising revenue"
  • by epine ( 68316 ) on Saturday September 15, 2012 @04:10PM (#41347795)

    We believe that tailoring your web experience â" for example by showing you more relevant, interest-based ads, or making it easy to recommend stuff you like to friends â" is a good thing.

    This is "your" as the anonymous plural. I'm an individual, not an aggregate, thank you very much. I mainly have any friends left at all for not presuming that my tastes are theirs. Strangely, I surround myself with people who have strong minds and distinct tastes. My social circle is not an echo-chamber of group think.

    From [all-caps title suppressed] []

    These Big Data issues are important, but there are bigger things afoot. As you move into a society driven by Big Data most of the ways we think about the world change in a rather dramatic way. For instance, Adam Smith and Karl Marx were wrong, or at least had only half the answers. Why? Because they talked about markets and classes, but those are aggregates. They're averages.

    While it may be useful to reason about the averages, social phenomena are really made up of millions of small transactions between individuals. There are patterns in those individual transactions that are not just averages, they're the things that are responsible for the flash crash and the Arab spring. You need to get down into these new patterns, these micro-patterns, because they don't just average out to the classical way of understanding society. We're entering a new era of social physics, where it's the details of all the particlesâ"the you and meâ"that actually determine the outcome.

    Reasoning about markets and classes may get you half of the way there, but it's this new capability of looking at the details, which is only possible through Big Data, that will give us the other 50 percent of the story. We can potentially design companies, organizations, and societies that are more fair, stable and efficient as we get to really understand human physics at this fine-grain scale. This new computational social science offers incredible possibilities.

    I don't mind my search results personalized, but my preference here is to have specific crud removed, not favoured results promoted. Alibaba and scribd and certain content mills would be early casualties, and no link to Elsevier in the top ten, ever. Mostly I can skim a list of 50 search results in the blink of an eye, thank you very much (and I don't find the skim gestalt useless, either).

    Here's the thing, Google, you don't have to guess. Just give me a place to dial in my personal preferences, and then you'll know for certain: I don't want those stinking suggestions. My one burning desire in the user interface for the last decade is more capacity to disaggregate myself from faddish workflows. Ubuntu 10.10, that's how I like it, uh huh uh huh.

    (*) I use a FF extension Make-Link to copy and paste links. Sometimes when you copy an all-caps link it comes out properly, if the all-caps was coded as a presentation style. I used to have an extension decaps to deal with this, but it broke in some FF upgrade. Over my dead body I'm retyping the title by hand to change the case, and neither am I leaving it there to scream at people.

  • by Dwedit ( 232252 ) on Saturday September 15, 2012 @04:11PM (#41347811) Homepage

    This is basically the "Evil Bit" [] all over again. It's completely non-binding and ineffective.

    What actually works is using Adblock and Requestpolicy, because that actually prevents third party tracking.

  • Re:Pointless? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by plover ( 150551 ) * on Saturday September 15, 2012 @04:40PM (#41347943) Homepage Journal

    No, advertisers have no business value in taking this seriously, and every incentive to find ways around it. Advertisers know that targeted advertising is both more effective and less offensive than random advertising. And today, in order to provide targeted advertising, tracking provides an overall picture of an individual's tastes and habits.

    Targeted advertising will continue, but in a different fashion. Instead of tracking you at an individual level, I predict they'll find ways to identify surfers at an aggregate level. Perhaps cookies will contain your advertising preferences instead of your identity. If you visit a few car forums every so often, the advertiser might store the CAR=2 value in your cookie, if you visit Etsy a lot they'll store CRAFT=5, and if you visit a political campaign donation site, they'll store SUCKER=9. Then, as you surf the web, if you're identified as a SUCKER>3, the ads will feature Vote Rombama. They're not tracking you personally or identifying your habits, but they're still targeting you.

    The bigger problem, and why I think Google was the big holdout, is Google Analytics. They don't use the tracking data just for advertising. They sell information about shopping habits to marketers. If you search for "stereo reviews", then click the links to and, then buy a Coby home stereo for $299 from, they can provide that data to stereo retailers around the net: people who buy overpriced crap surf believe the information on and Killing tracking kills that intelligence business.

  • Re:Translation (Score:5, Insightful)

    by betterunixthanunix ( 980855 ) on Saturday September 15, 2012 @05:23PM (#41348143)

    Microsoft is planning on destroying the standard/convention by not implementing it properly in IE; e.g. by Default pretending that the user has opted out by supplying a DNT 1 value; instead of the user taking no preference.

    This sounds like the right thing to me. If most users are unaware of how pervasive the tracking is these days, then it should be opt-in. Let people who at least know that there is something to opt in to make a decision about opting in.

    Of course, then the web advertisers would just ignore DNT. Which is what will happen anyway.

    The real answer is not to politely ask these companies to stop tracking us; what reason do they have to care about our wishes? The real answer is to make ABP a standard feature in browsers, with a whitelist option for users who actually want advertising (but which warns them that advertisers will track their browsing habits -- with clear, unambiguous, easy-to-understand wording). We made spam filtering a default for email, and then spam became manageable; we should make ad blocking the default for the web, until it is brought back down to reasonable levels.

    I have no sympathy for web advertisers. They should be excluded from the debate, just like spammers were excluded.

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