Google Chromium Browser Gets Do-Not-Track Support

The integration of do-not-track (DNT) in Chrome makes absolutely no sense for Google, yet the latest versions of Chromium have showed up with a flag that enables this feature. Google is last among the big browser makers and follows a trend that was initiated by Mozilla. However, Google announced earlier this year that it would be offering DNT in Chrome by the end of the year. It is widely believed that Google reacted to a new privacy bill of rights.

Google has been very quiet about DNT with very good reason. Chrome is Google's most powerful tool to bind Internet users to its search engine and the company's core revenue base. Comprehensive tracking is a feature advertisers are looking for and serves as a catalyst for higher ad prices. Of course, the agreement on DNT is that this feature will be simply integrated, but not be enabled by default. The browser user will have to make that choice and activate DNT in the browser's settings. Only Microsoft has opted to enable DNT automatically.

The advertising industry is already reacting to a potential impact of DNT. A patent filed by Yahoo for example, envisions incentives for users who do not activate DNT in their browsers. If Yahoo has its way, one day you may get free products or even cash if you allow advertisers to track your steps online.


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Wolfgang Gruener is Director, digital strategy and content experience at American Eagle, where he specializes in strategic data analysis, user behavior models and information architecture (IA), as well as content strategy and governance. He was also Managing Editor of the website TG Daily and contributor to sites including Tom's Guide and Tom's Hardware.