Twitter agrees to adopt privacy option

2012-05-18 10:37
San Francisco - Twitter will honour requests from users who do not want their online behaviour tracked, the company said, in contrast with web companies such Google Inc and Facebook Inc whose business models rely heavily on collecting user data.

Twitter said it will officially support "Do Not Track", a standardised privacy initiative that has been heavily promoted by the US Federal Trade Commission, online privacy advocates and Mozilla, the non-profit developer of the Firefox web browser.

Some browsers, including Firefox, Microsoft Corp's Internet Explorer and Apple Inc's Safari, include a "Do Not Track" option that sends a line of code to websites indicating the user does not want to be tracked. But under current regulations, it is up to the website to honour the requests.

Google has said it will implement a "Do Not Track" feature in its Chrome browser later this year.

The "Do Not Track" announcement also coincides with Twitter's recent push to provide a more personalised service. Twitter recommends "tailored suggestions" based on a user's web surfing history, but does not use the data for any other purpose, the company said on Thursday.

Balancing act

"As always, we are committed to providing you with simple and meaningful choices about the information we collect to improve your Twitter experience," Twitter's director, Growth and International, Othman Laraki, said in a blog post on Thursday. "For those who don't want to tailor Twitter, we offer ways to turn off this collection."

Twitter's support for the initiative was first announced on Thursday by Ed Felten, the FTC's chief technology officer, during a panel in New York. The micro-blogging site later confirmed Felten's statement, adding in a Tweet: "We applaud the FTC's leadership on DNT."

Mozilla praised Twitter's move in a blog post and noted that adoption rates for "Do Not Track" have risen steadily, to 8.6% of desktop users and 19% of mobile users.

"We're excited that Twitter now supports Do Not Track and global user adoption rates continue to increase, which signifies a big step forward for Do Not Track and the web," Mozilla said.

Twitter's decision to get onboard with "Do Not Track" represents something of a balancing act for the six-year-old company, which has been closely scrutinised on how it can generate enough revenue to justify its multibillion-dollar valuation.

Online tracking through bits of code embedded in websites known as "cookies" underpins the business models for many internet companies.

Facebook has been valued at $104bn, partially by investors who believe it can offer advertisers a platform for highly targeted ads based on perceived user interests. Google similarly generates billions annually by targeting ads based on what a user is searching for.

Major online destinations that have endorsed "Do Not Track" include Yahoo, which said in March it would allow consumers "to express their ad targeting preferences to Yahoo" beginning this year.
Read more on:    google  |  twitter  |  facebook  |  social networks
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!

It’s the season to be jolly – so we’ve rounded up some new Joburg hot spots!

 
 

I love summer.24

Summer Survey!
Great ideas for the best summer sandwiches!
Christmas lingerie to make this festive season the best one ever!
13 things you might not know about Disneyland

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

At last you are able to see the light. You are able to break through obstacles in an innovative and original way. Visualisation is...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.