Mozilla Firefox Prepares Extra 'Do Not Track' Options

By Alexandra Burlacu | Apr 07, 2013 11:23 AM EDT

Share This Story

  • Print
  • Email

Mozilla is preparing to offer a more sensitive approach to how it implements the "Do Not Track" setting in its popular Firefox browser.

The whole "Do Not Track" issue sparked lots of controversy in the past few years, and the tech world is constantly toying with various solutions.

Follow us

Firefox 21 beta now introduces more user choices for the "Do Not Track" header. This header first debuted in Firefox 4 two years ago, as a way to signal websites not to track users who activated the "Do Not Track" option. Until now, implementations of this setting included only "On" or "Off." Firefox lead privacy engineer Sid Stamm describes these options as "user says nothing" and "user says don't track."

According to Firefox security engineer Tom Lowenthal, however, the controversial "Do Not Track" actually has three states:

  • DNT:0, which means "I consent to being tracked;"
  • DNT:1, which means "I object to being tracked;"
  • Neither, if the user doesn't send a signal.

If the user doesn't send a signal, the browser will not communicate any of those settings (DNT:0 and DNT:1).

"When DNT is off, it doesn't mean 'please track me,' explains Lowenthal. "It means that the user hasn't told the browser their choice yet. According to the security engineer, when first installing Firefox the browser is set to neither option, which means the choice is entirely up to the user.

It remains unclear, however, just how websites will react to this implementation. In theory, websites that don't receive any "Do Not Track" preference should not track users. Websites are still issuing cookies that follow users around the web, and this practice long precedes the DNT concept. In other words, Firefox' attempt sounds like a good idea, but it may not be able to change how the web currently works. Users can adjust their DNT preferences under Options > Privacy.

Meanwhile, upcoming versions of Firefox will block third-party tracking cookies by default due to the Firefox 22 Aurora build. That option should be available in around July. Check out the full release notes for Firefox 21 Beta at this link.

Get the Most Popular Mobile&Apps Stories in a Weekly Newsletter

Firefox, Mozilla Firefox 21 Beta, DNT, Do Not Track, mozilla

Join Our Conversation

The HTC logo is seen with different devices from the brand HTC M10 Perfume Launching A Month Later After MWC 2016
Lava Unleashes New P7 Device Into The Indian Market
New Disney Phone Coming To Japan
Xiaomi Locks Redmi Note 3, Mi 4c And Mi Note Pro; Others To Follow Suit?
Tablet / Laptop / PC
Dell Venue 7 and Venue 8 Dell unveils Venue 7 and Venue 8 Android 4.3 Jelly Bean tablets
Retina iPad Mini facing delays, may not launch until early next year
Refurbished 128GB iPad with Retina Display now available on the Apple Online Store
Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 – 2014 Edition: Pricing and availability now official
Amazon Logo Amazon reportedly to launch ‘Firetube’ set-top box before 2013 holidays
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Gear India launch: Pricing and availability
Samsung Galaxy Gear Android smartwatch now up for pre-order in Canada
Samsung Galaxy Gear 2 reportedly in the works already, may debut at CES or MWC 2014
OS / Software
HTC Logo HTC reportedly considering Android/Windows Phone dual-booting smartphone as Microsoft pushes for deeper Windows mobile integration
iOS 7 Chrome Incognito mode leaks private searches due to bug
Sprint HTC One Android 4.3 Jelly Bean already rolling out, AT&T, T-Mobile & Verizon to follow
Microsoft Windows 8.1 now available for pre-order
Internet / Social Media
Google Downtime Google blacks out for two minutes, causes 40 percent drop in world’s Internet traffic
Xbox Music web player is live and ready for Xbox Music Pass subscribers
Facebook Android app collected phone numbers even if users never logged in
Firefox 22 brings support for web video calls, 3D gaming, and Unreal Engine 3
What's App
ZTE's new lease program ZTE’s new Lease-to-own Program for Mobile Devices
LG’s G Pay to Take on Google, Samsung and Apple
Facebook: Taxes in the UK and a new Shopping tab
Samsung’s VR Headset to be Released at $99, Hulu Jumps Onboard with Apps Ready

Most Popular

© 2016 IBT Media Inc. All Rights Reserved.mobilenapps