Google has finally added the industry standard known as Do Not Track to a stable release of its Chrome browser. Unlike its competitors who have had this released 17 months prior.
The functionality, which was added to Chrome 23 released on Tuesday, gives users a way to communicate their desire not to be tracked as they navigate from website to website. When turned on, Do Not Track works in the background by adding an HTTP header that’s broadcasted to all connecting webservers.
Mozilla’s Firefox browser applied the feature in June 2011, five months before it was validated as an authorised W3C specification. Nearly all other browsers have embraced it since then, leaving Google—a company that makes most of its income from advertising—the lone wolf.
As made clear by a disclaimer that’s revealed when the option is enabled, websites may or may not respect the request, so users who prefer to guard their privacy may want to regularly delete tracking cookies.