In a reversal of its previous position, Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) has committed to adding “Do Not Track” support to the Chrome browser by the end of this year. Browsers that support this policy can be configured to automatically transmit special information in the HTTP page request header in order to inform a website when a user does not want to be tracked.
At the moment, other widely-used browsers such as Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox already support Do Not Track. Safari also supports this capability, though users must first enable an option found in the developer menu; Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) says this setting will be easier to find in the upcoming Mountain Lion release of OS X. According to Computerworld, Opera has also recently launched an experimental release of its desktop browser with support for anti-tracking technology.
“[The Chrome] browsers will not break that experience,” explained Susan Wojcicki, Google’s senior vice president of advertising for Google, on the company’s public policy blog. Summing up Google’s decision, Wojcicki admitted, “This agreement will not solve all the privacy issues users face on the Web today. However, it represents a meaningful step forward in privacy controls for users. We look forward to making this happen.”
Given how Google was recently exposed for taking steps to circumvent privacy settings for IE and Safari, would you still trust the company to fully implement Do Not Track?