Google’s latest effort at implementing a ‘Do Not Track’ mechanism arrives in the form of the Keep your opt-outs Chrome extension. The extension will allow users to permanently keep ad tracking cookies at bay. Given the large number of online advertisers and trade associations who are part of a huge self-regulatory effort to put into practice uniform privacy guidelines, this latest extension should be of much help.
With the Federal Trade Commission only recently showing interest in a similar mechanism, the extension without doubt makes sense. For the uninitiated, a majority of advertising companies who are members of the Network Advertising Initiative (NAI) let users opt out of personal advertisements tracking. Nevertheless, recurrent technical challenges have made the use of opt-out programs slightly unfeasible.
The official Google Public Policy blog reveals, “Importantly, we’ve designed the extension so that it should not otherwise interfere with your web browsing experience or website functionality. This fresh feature gives you significant control without compromising the revenue that fuels the web content that we all consume every day.”
Taking cue from Google’s earlier work, the new Chrome extension empowers users to opt out of ad tracking permanently from virtually every advertising company that offers industry self-regulation programs. Users may want to take note of the fact that installing the said extension will alter their online ads experience completely. While some ads may appear repeatedly on specific websites, in some instances, lesser relevant ads may also be visible. The main focus of the extension though is to enhance users’ online privacy.
Along with Chrome, Google is also working at making the extension available to other browsers soon. What’s more the code for the Keep your opt-outs Chrome extension is likely to be out on an open-source basis.