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Twitter supports 'do not track'

May 17, 2012|By Michelle Maltais
  • Twitter sent out a tweet Thursday essentially announcing its support.
Twitter sent out a tweet Thursday essentially announcing its support. (Twitter )

Twitter now supports allowing users a little more control over who monitors their activity through its services, offering a "do not track" option.

"As the Federal Trade Commission's CTO, Ed Felten, mentioned this morning, Twitter now supports Do Not Track," Twitter's Carolyn Penner wrote in an email to The Times. "We applaud the FTC's leadership on Do Not Track, and are excited to provide the benefits of Do Not Track."

Do not track is a feature in the Firefox Web browser that allows users indicate to participating websites that they don't want to their activity to be tracked. It transmits a "Do Not Track HTTP" header every time your data is requested from the Web.

To enable this feature, Windows users go to the Tools menu, then Options, then Privacy. There you click to check the box beside "Tell websites I do not want to be tracked." Mac users should click on Firefox, Preferences, then Privacy and click the box.

Although it is a step in the direction of providing users more control, not every website has opted in to allow it.

“Twitter’s decision to honor Do Not Track choices by users is an important step forward for online privacy," Common Sense Media CEO James Steyer said in a statement. "...By respecting users’ choices and providing better disclosure, Twitter is bringing more privacy solutions to the online environment, and this will make a big difference, especially for teens.”

In a recent report, the Federal Trade Commission urged that more be done to protect consumer privacy.

"While Congress considers privacy legislation, the Commission urges industry to accelerate the pace of its self-regulatory measures to implement the Commission’s final privacy framework," the report read. "Although some companies have excellent privacy and data security practices, industry as a whole must do better .... Do Not Track is a step toward putting you in control of the way your information is collected and used online."

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