Google Chrome criticised for ad-tracking
It's not been a good month for Google. They've had to put Chrome in the sin-bin for promoting illegal sites and now, a privacy expert at Stanford University has released a Do Not Track extension for the browser, after Google was criticised for ad-tracking.
The Do Not Track add-on has been designed to allow users to opt out of tracking used by targeted advertising networks. Until now, there's been no way of adding the feature to Chrome, unlike most other browsers.
“The Chrome extension I developed adds the Do Not Track header (DNT: 1) to HTTP requests,” privacy specialist Jonathan Mayer told PC Pro. “All the other major browsers have had a Do Not Track option for quite some time - this extension allows Chrome users to finally take advantage of Do Not Track.”
It's worth pointing out that Google does include privacy options that retain opt-out cookies when a user deletes general browsing cookies, however, it isn't always obvious to a user.
“Google has steadfastly refused to add the feature to Chrome,” Mayer said. “Google's position has been heavily criticised by advocates, academics, and policy makers - including the FTC.”
Sadly, this programme doesn't have to be legally required to take notice of the Do Not Track header, which ostensibly means that more unscrupulous websites could ignore your privacy requests. The blocker is available from the Chrome web store.