Twitter joins Firefox effort to thwart online tracking

May 17, 2012
Twitter on Thursday took a stand for online privacy by backing a Firefox web browsing feature that lets people signal that they don't want their Internet activity tracked.

Twitter on Thursday took a stand for online privacy by backing a Firefox web browsing feature that lets people signal that they don't want their Internet activity tracked.

Nonprofit foundation Mozilla added a "Do Not Track" option last year that tells websites when visitors don't want online behavior noted by snippets of code typically planted to target advertising or streamline services.

"We're excited that now supports Do Not Track and global user adoption rates continue to increase, which signifies a big step forward," Mozilla public policy chief Alex Fowler said in a blog post.

Nearly nine percent of people using Firefox on desktop computers and a fifth of those using the web browser on have opted to use the Do Not Track feature, with its popularity highest in France, Netherlands, and the United States.

US (FTC) chief technical officer Ed Felten announced while on a privacy panel at an Internet conference in New York City that globally popular one-to-many text messaging Twitter had signed on to the program.

Websites have to agree to honor the desires of Firefox users not to be tracked, and the move by Twitter means it will abide by those wishes.

"We applaud the FTC's leadership on DNT," San Francisco-based Twitter said in a message fired off at the service confirming Felten's announcement.

The move does not appear to compromise Twitter's revenue stream, since the company makes money by charging for "" to get high-profile placement in message streams and not through targeted ads.

Explore further: Is it too late to protect privacy? Pessimism reigns over big data and the law

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