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Mozilla slips 'Do Not Track' header into Firefox nightlies

The call for 'DNT: 1'

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Mozilla has uploaded a working prototype of its "Do Not Track" http header into the Firefox nightly builds.

Anyone interested in testing the header can do so by downloading a pre-beta version of Firefox, but it won't have any real effect until websites and advertisers chose to recognize the thing.

Mozilla proposed such a header with a blog post last week, hoping to give netizens the option of shielding themselves from ad networks that attempt to track their web behavior. Since then, working in tandem with Stanford University's donottrack.us project, the open sourcers have (slightly) modified the design. The header now reads “DNT: 1″ when a user turns on the do-not-track option, rather than the original proposal: “X-Do-Not-Track". The new header is designed to be shorter and more precise.

With the nightly builds, you can set the header in the "Advanced" section of the Firefox Preferences tool. "It pains me that it’s not under the 'Privacy' panel, yet," writes Mozilla Global Privacy and Public Policy Leader Alex Fowler. "This reflects our desire for speed in getting the feature into Firefox, as updating the 'Privacy' UI and content will require additional engineering bandwidth."

Fowler suggests that privacy-minded netizens display the header as a sign of solidarity. "Testers will not notice any difference in browsing online until sites and advertisers start to respond to the header," he says. "For now, broadcasting DNT: 1 will be akin to displaying EFF’s Blue Ribbon campaign, for those of you who remember the popular online rights campaign from the 90s." ®

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