File Under: Browsers, privacy

Google Chrome Finally Jumps on the ‘Do Not Track’ Bandwagon

Photo: Only Sequel/Flickr

The most recent developer release of Google’s Chrome web browser adds support for the proposed Do Not Track (DNT) header, which allows users to tell advertisers to stop tracking their movements around the web.

If you’d like to test Do Not Track in Chrome you’ll need to download the “canary” channel release. The DNT header will likely be available in the stable version of Chrome some time around the end of 2012.

Unlike Microsoft, which recently caused a web standards hoopla by announcing it would enable Do Not Track by default in Internet Explorer 10, Google is leaving Chrome’s version off by default. To turn on Chrome’s new DNT feature yourself head to Settings >> Show advanced settings >> Privacy and check the Do Not Track option.

The Do Not Track feature, which will soon be available in every web browser, allows users to broadcast a simple message to advertisers — roughly, don’t track me. Advertisers honoring the header won’t set tracking cookies in your browser, nor will they show any ads targeted at you.

Chrome is the last major browser to add support for Do Not Track, which began life in Mozilla’s Firefox before moving to the W3C where it’s in the process of becoming a web standard.

Some have speculated that Google was dragging its feet with Do Not Track because it may hurt the company’s bottom line — Google’s well-targeted ads are made possible by tracking what you do online. The changelog message that introduces DNT is terse, but a Google spokesperson tells AllThingsD that the company is honoring “an agreement on DNT that the industry reached with the White House early this year.”