Firefox, Chrome add privacy tools

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

 google-chrome-icon-executiveThe Firefox and Google Chrome browsers are getting tools to help users block advertisers from collecting information about them.

Alex Fowler, a technology and privacy officer for Firefox maker Mozilla, said the "Do Not Track" tool will be the first in a series of steps designed to guard privacy. He didn't say when the tool will be available.

Google Chrome users can now download a browser plug-in that blocks advertisers -- but only from ad networks that already let people decline personalized, targeted ads.
According to Google Inc, these include the top 15 advertising networks, as rated by the research group comScore, a group that includes AOL Inc, Yahoo Inc and Google itself.

The next version of Microsoft Corp's Internet Explorer browser, which is still being developed, will include a similar feature, though people will have to create or find their own lists of sites they want to block.

Google and Mozilla, however, are developing tracking-protection tools that will work automatically -- once people decide to turn on that privacy feature, that is.

Microsoft, Google and Mozilla's promises of stronger privacy comes on the heels of government complaints that online advertisers are able to collect too much data about people in their quest to target ads.

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