After Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, and Mozilla’s Firefox — that enjoys “do-not-track” feature — it’s the turn of Cupertino, Calif., company — who is joining the party as well. A test version of Safari implemented this privacy feature that lets you opt out of tracking cookies used for targeted advertising.
Apple has included the tool within the latest test release of Lion, a version of Apple’s Mac OS X operating system that is currently available only to developers. The final version of the operating system is scheduled to be released to the public this summer. Mentions of the do-not-track feature in Apple’s Safari browser began to appear recently in online discussion forums and on Twitter.
The move by the Cupertino, Calif., company leaves Google as the only major browser provider that hasn’t yet committed to supporting a do-no-track capability in its Chrome browser.
A spokesman for Google, said the company “will continue to be involved closely” in industry discussions about do-not-track. In the meantime, he said Google offers an add-on program for Chrome that users can download called “Keep My Opt-Outs” that’ll let users request that their data not be used for targeted advertising.
Do-not-track tools in browsers automatically send out messages to websites and online-advertising networks requesting that users’ movements around the Web not be tracked. The system will only work if Web companies agree to respect peoples’ tracking preferences.
So far, major online-advertising networks, which use tracking to sell ads tailored to consumers’ tastes, haven’t yet agreed on how to honor the system.
Some browser makers, including Microsoft and Apple, also offer other tracking protection features that don’t require the support of online advertisers.