Twitter Helps Users Protect Privacy, Supports ‘Do Not Track’

Following Yahoo and AOL’s lead (and Google’s quasi-lead), Twitter confirmed a Federal Trade Commission announcement that it will honor Do Not Track notifications. In doing so, Twitter has taken a big step toward helping users take control of what information is shared about them – and about their activity – online.

As The New York Times reports, Ed Felten, chief technology officer for the Federal Trade Commission, announced Twitter’s involvement in the privacy feature at a New York Internet Week privacy panel during a session titled, “Opting in to Do Not Track: A morning mini-conference on privacy, tracking and more.”

And today’s post on the Mozilla Privacy Blog, Alex Fowler, Mozilla’s Global Privacy and Public Policy Lead, shares the following update:

We’re excited that Twitter now supports Do Not Track and global user adoption rates continue to increase, which signifies a big step forward for Do Not Track and the Web.

So it’s confirmed, Twitter supports Do Not Track. But what is “do not track?” It’s a feature that, when enabled, sends a message (a Do Not Track HTTP header) to advertising networks, websites and applications every time your data is requested from the Web, telling them you don’t want your activity tracked for behavioral advertising and the like.

The trick though, and why Twitter’s support of this effort is such a big deal, is that you can enable the function all you want but it’s pretty useless if the folks receiving the message choose not to comply with your Do Not Track request. Twitter has now pledged to support these requests and that’s huge – particularly for a company still sorting out some monetization kinks.

Twitter’s confirmation of the FTC announcement is yet another way the microblogging platform is demonstrating its commitment to protecting participants’ privacy and making online a better place for everyone involved.

You can activate the Do Not Track option on Firefox, Internet Explore and Chrome (though if you’re signed in to your Google account, you’ll be tracked in other ways, mwahahaha!).

And you can learn more about Do Not Track on Mozilla’s Do Not Track site.

(Eye spying through computer image from Shutterstock)