Sunday, September 16, 2012

'Do Not Track' Coming To Chrome

Word on the street is that Google intends to add 'do not track' support Chrome. It's currently being added to the development version, but is expected to eventually make it into the shipping version. This will bring Chrome in line with some its peers who have already enabled this feature. In fact IE 10 enables DNT by default.

It's a brave new world where companies like Google- who make obscene amounts of money with online advertising- are reluctantly adding a feature to their browser which could potentially disrupt that revenue stream. They can't be happy about it. But it's gotta be DNT or look like the big jerks of the browser world.

Honestly, this looks like a master stroke of genius for Microsoft, who sparked the firestorm in the first place by turning DNT on by default. Microsoft is not nearly as dependent on advertising revenue as Google, so by scoring a victory for consumers they are also dealing a blow to Google.

I have no illusions about the dynamics in play here. Big corporations act in their own best interests, period. But it's nice when corporate interests overlap with what's best for the consumer, which doesn't happen very often!

This issue is just starting to heat up. Apache has already said that it will ignore the new DNT header. Seems like this is going to get very interesting as the big mega corporations wage a war for our eyeballs. I'm not holding my breath that the consumer will be ultimately victorious, but maybe some good will come out of all of this. Time will tell.

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