What is Do Not Track?

Do Not Track is a browser setting that requests that a web application disable its tracking of a given user. If you enable the Do Not Track setting in your browser, you are telling the websites you visit that you do not want to be tracked.

Most major browsers, like Chrome or Firefox, have Do Not Track settings that you can easily enable. However, just because you tell sites not to track you doesn’t mean they’ll listen.

The Problem With Do Not Track

Even though DNT lets websites know that you don’t want to be tracked on their site, the website doesn’t have to comply with that request. In fact, most websites don’t even honor these requests so the feature is basically worthless.

If people enable the Do Not Track setting, they should be able to know that websites won’t be tracking them. Giving people a false sense of security is problematic because they’ll be less likely to take their own precautions.

Having Do Not Track enabled does not keep sites from tracking you, or even make it more difficult to do so.

Many privacy-focused organizations and advocates have pushed for legislation that would prevent websites from tracking users who have the Do Not Track setting enabled.

Read More: What is Internet Tracking? (And How To Avoid Being Tracked)

Do Not Track Needs to Be More Than a Request

“Do Not Track” is basically a gentle request telling websites that you’d prefer not to be tracked. For this setting to work, websites should either be required to comply with the request, or the browser setting should make it impossible for websites to track you.

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