Do Not Track (DNT) is a privacy preference that users can set in their web browsers.
What is “Do Not Track”?
The do not track header is a proposed HTTP header field that would request a web application to disable their tracking of a user. The “Do Not Track” header was originally proposed in 2009 by researchers Christopher Soghoian, Sid Stamm, and Dan Kaminsky. It is currently being standardized by the W3C.
In December 2010, Microsoft announced support for the DNT mechanism in its Internet Explorer 9 web browser. Followed by Mozilla’s Firefox, Apple’s Safari and Opera all later added support. It is not currently supported by Google Chrome, but will be incorporated by the end of 2012.
The header currently accepts three values, 1 in case the user does not wish to be tracked (opt out), 0 in case the user does (opt in), or null (no header sent) if the user has not expressed a preference. The default is to not send the header, until the user chooses to enable the setting via their browser.
When you turn on DNT in your browser, twitter stop collecting the information that allows us to tailor Twitter based on your recent visits to websites that have integrated our buttons or widgets.
- For new users signing up for Twitter with DNT already enabled, the checkbox on the signup page that says Tailor Twitter based on my recent website visits will be unchecked.
- If you had already joined Twitter and visited Twitter.com with DNT enabled in the days before [the launch] of tailored suggestions, the Personalization checkbox in your account settings will be unchecked at launch.
How do I enable “Do Not Track”?
Below are a few examples of where to find the DNT settings in major web browsers. These implementations are evolving, and you should check the help pages of your browser for more details.
If you are using Firefox 5:
- Open the Preferences menu and click Privacy.
- Check the box for Tell web sites I do not want to be tracked.
If you are using Internet Explorer 9:
- Visit this Do Not Track test page for information about installing on Internet Explorer 9, and scroll to the bottom to find the link to install.
- When the dialog window shown below pops up, click the Add List button to add an empty Tracking Protection List.
- For more details see this help page from Microsoft.
If you are using Safari 5.1:
- In Safari preferences, click Advanced.
- Next, check the Show Develop menu in menu bar checkbox (screenshot 1, below).
- Close the preferences window, and under the new Develop menu, select Send Do Not Track HTTP Header (screenshot 2).
If you are using Chrome 17.0 or higher, there is a third-party extension that enables DNT:
- Open Chrome, click Window in the top navigation, and select Extensions.
- Click the link at the bottom that says Get more extensions.
- Search for “Do Not Track” from Jonathan Mayer.
- To add “Do Not Track” to your Chrome browser, just click the button Add To Chrome and click Add again when you see the disclaimer.
- Go back to your Extensions and make sure it has been successfully added and enabled.