Wednesday, July 25, 2012

W3C Releases New Web Privacy Standard By Scott Gilbertson part 1

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has released the first draft of a new webstandard aimed at improving online privacy. The W3C’s new Standard for Online Privacy is a set of tools that will ultimately enable your browser to stop sites from tracking your every move on the web.
The first draft of the new privacy standard revolves around the “Do Not Track” (DNT) HTTP header originally introduced by Mozilla as a part of Firefox4 . The DNT header — a bit of code sent every time your browser talks to a web server — can be used to tell websites you don’t want to be tracked. The goal isto give you an easy way to opt out of often invasive tracking practices like behavioral advertising.
Behavior advertising refers to the increasingly common practice of tracking your online behavior and using it to tailor ads to your habits. Advertisersuse cookies to follow you around the web, tracking which sites you visit, what you buy and even, in the case of mobile browsers, where you go.
Some web browsers, including Internet Explorer and Chrome, offer an opt-out mechanism in the form of a cookie — add the cookie to your browser and participating sites won’t track your browsing. While the cookie-based approach is widely supported by advertisers, if you ever clear your browser’s cookies for any reason, your privacy settings are lost.
Mozilla’s original “Do Not Track” tool offered the same end result — broadcasting your privacy settings to advertiser’s servers — but instead of using a cookie, Mozilla’s DNT effort created a new HTTP header. The header offers a more robust and permanent solution than cookies and it’s easier for users to control via a simple browser preference.

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