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Yahoo Plans Support for ‘Do Not Track’ Web Privacy Tool

Photo: Only Sequel/Flickr

Yahoo has announced it will soon support the Do Not Track privacy header across its sprawling network of websites. Supporting Do Not Track means you will soon be able to easily tell Yahoo to stop tracking your movements around the web.

Behavioral advertising, as such tracking is known, is a common practice on the web. Advertisers use cookies to track your clicks, watching which sites you visit, what you buy and even, in the case of mobile browsers, where you go. Often the sites tracking you are not just the sites you’ve actually visited, but third-party sites running ads on those pages.

Much like the Do Not Call registry, the Do Not Track system offers a way to opt out of this third-party web tracking.

The Do Not Track header began life at Mozilla, but has since moved to the W3C where it was converted into a web standard by the Tracking Protection Working Group.

The Do Not Track header now works in every major desktop browser except Google Chrome, though none of them turn it on by default. Still, for privacy-concerned users savvy enough to enable Do Not Track, the header offers a quick and easy way to tell advertisers that you don’t want to be followed while you browse the web.

Numerous online advertising groups already respect the Do Not Track header and refrain from tracking users that enable it. Today’s announcement means that, starting this summer, you can add Yahoo to the list of companies that will stop tracking you if you’ve enabled Do Not Track in your web browser.

Of course, there are still many advertisers and websites that don’t yet support Do Not Track. If you’re concerned about your online privacy and don’t want to rely on the goodwill of advertisers, there are other, more aggressive steps you can take to limit how your tracked on the web. See our earlier post on browser add-ons that help stop web tracking for more details.

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This entry was posted on Sunday, April 1st, 2012 at 4:42 pm and is filed under internet, Tools. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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