Google Relents – Do Not Track coming soon

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So Google has gotten itself into a little bit of hot water with all of the privacy snafus it has found itself in the middle of lately. There is their new privacy policy, the growth of Google+ (which has it’s own privacy naysayers) and the most recent faux pas with Safari.

So I guess it stands to reason, that Google would jump at the new privacy bill being pushed through the White House. Regarding the new online privacy legislation, Google decided to get behind “Do Not Track,” technology that lets users opt out of tracking by websites and online advertisers. So what exactly did Google just agree to do? It will add support for Do Not Track to its Chrome browser. The way the technology works is fairly basic, it sends a Chrome header signal to the website to tell the website and it’s advertisers to not track that visitor. In browsers that already support Do Not Track, a user only has to set a single option. In Firefox, that’s done through the Options (on Windows) or Preferences (Mac) pane by checking a box marked, “Tell web sites I do not want to be tracked.”

It’s a big step in online privacy by Google, as they were the last major hold out on implementing the Do Not Track technology into their browser. But will it be enough to convince web users how serious Google is about privacy? Just how they implement the technology, how simple it is to enable or disable, and just how effective it is will be the telling factor. As a company, Google is a massive target and keeps making, seemingly basic, missteps which can make the general users of the web quickly turned off of their products. Between the new tech to be enabled in Chrome, and the new privacy policy set to shortly come into effect, Google may be heading for an even rockier year than 2011.