A “Do Not Track” Button in Every Browser: Google, Firefox, Microsoft and Apple Formally Agree

Google, Microsoft, Apple, and Firefox’s Mozilla, have at last formally agreed to include a “Do Not Track” button (DNT button) in every browser. {Let’s take this opportunity to explain that the way this works is that using the “Do Not Track” option inserts a special “Do Not Track” header into your browser. In fact, as we shall see, there may not even be a DNT button involved – you may need to be a super-user type to even find the “Do Not Track” option.} Their capitulation comes just before the Obama administration’s appeal to Congress to pass a “privacy bill of rights”, but don’t expect it to mean that they won’t still be mining your data. (P.S. See below for how to enable Do Not Track in Safari.)

Zombie Cookies Tracking Your Every Move on the Internet, Consumer Reports Urges Consumers to Contact Congress

A few months ago we wrote about the Federal Trade Commission’s proposed “Do Not Track” list and legislation. One of the biggest invaders of your privacy is cookies that track you, and that respawn after you (think you) have deleted them, or, as they are known, “Zombie Cookies” (so-called because they come back from the dead). As defined in Wikipedia, “a zombie cookie is any HTTP cookie that is recreated after deletion from backups stored outside the web browser’s dedicated cookie storage.” Variations on this theme include the Adobe Local Shared Object (LSO) cookie, and the Evercookie. There was a Zombie cookie law suit last summer, levelled against such industry giants as ABC, NBC, MTV, ESPN, MySpace, and Hulu, alleging that they were using Zombie cookies that respawned after being deleted because their backups were being stored in Flash. That technology was provided by Quantcast, who was the lead defendant in the Zombie cookie lawsuit. Not long after, the FTC announced their “Do Not Track” legislation proposal, and now Consumer Reports is asking their members to contact their Congressmen in support of the proposal.

“Do Not Track” List Proposed – What is a Do Not Track List and How Would it Work? We Explain

Yesterday the Feds, through the Federal Trade Commission, came out in support of a request by several NGOs to create a “Do Not Track” registry, similar to the current “Do Not Call” and “Do Not Send Junk Mail” registries, only in this case the tracking referred to in “Do Not Track” is the online tracking of Internet users across the web, tracking the websites they visit with cookies and other tracking technologies, in much the way that Facebook and their partners are currently tracking people. Among other things, this tracking allows them to have their ads follow you around the web in a practice known as ‘remarketing’ or ‘re-marketing’.