Feeds

Mozilla plans 'Do Not Track' bottle-stopper for private surfers

Oh, behave!

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Mozilla is planning to add a so-called "do-not-track" feature to browsers for Firefox users who want to outfox cookie-bothering behavioural advertisers.

The open source browser maker's global privacy and public policy wonk Alex Fowler admitted that convincing website operators to agree to such a proposal remained a big stumbling block.

However, it's arguably helpful that Mozilla's plans are a response to the US Federal Trade Commission's recent call for development of a do-not-track system (PDF).

"As the first of many steps, we are proposing a feature that allows users to set a browser preference that will broadcast their desire to opt-out of third party, advertising-based tracking by transmitting a Do Not Track HTTP header with every click or page view in Firefox," wrote Fowler in a blog post.

"When the feature is enabled and users turn it on, web sites will be told by Firefox that a user would like to opt-out of OBA [online behavourial advertising].

"We believe the header-based approach has the potential to be better for the web in the long run because it is a clearer and more universal opt-out mechanism than cookies or blacklists."

The feature is being considered by Mozilla for future releases of its browser, but it's not clear if it will be slotted into the forthcoming Firefox 4 that is expected to arrive shortly.

Privacy tools in web browsers are increasingly on the minds of tech firms keen, a cynic would argue, to muffle the voices of those people who refuse to tolerate OBA.

In December last year, Microsoft said it would offer a privacy setting in the next version of Internet Explorer that will make it easy for users to keep their browsing habits from being tracked by advertising networks and other third-party websites.

Meanwhile, the world's largest ad broker Google is reportedly set to announce a "keep my opt-outs" privacy tool later today, that will allow its Chrome browser users to scream "in your face, OBA!" - or something. ®

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
Nexus 7 fandroids tell of salty taste after sucking on Google's Lollipop
Web giant looking into why version 5.0 of Android is crippling older slabs
Be real, Apple: In-app goodie grab games AREN'T FREE – EU
Cupertino stands down after Euro legal threats
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
SLURP! Flick your TONGUE around our LOLLIPOP – Google
Android 5 is coming – IF you're lucky enough to have the right gadget
Microsoft: Your Linux Docker containers are now OURS to command
New tool lets admins wrangle Linux apps from Windows
Bada-Bing! Mozilla flips Firefox to YAHOO! for search
Microsoft system will be the default for browser in US until 2020
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
The hidden costs of self-signed SSL certificates
Exploring the true TCO for self-signed SSL certificates, including a side-by-side comparison of a self-signed architecture versus working with a third-party SSL vendor.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.