DURING THIS TIME OF PRIVACY EROSION, Twitter has decided to drop Do Not Track, one of the earliest stabs at protecting internet users as they go about their internet things.

Twitter adopted it years ago but this week announced plans to bin it. It explains that while it was keen on it, and hoped that other providers would follow, that just has not happened. This suggests that Do Not Track has not really taken off.

"Twitter has discontinued support of the Do Not Track browser preference. While we had hoped that our support for Do Not Track would spur industry adoption, an industry-standard approach to Do Not Track did not materialize," it said. "We now offer more granular privacy controls."


Users have not welcomed the news. Some are lamenting the end of days of Do Not Track, while others are concerned that Twitter is expanding how and where it shares data.

Do Not Track was very much a polite way of protecting privacy, and both users and websites could choose whether or not to adopt or respect it.


Of course users have pointed out that Twitter's dropping comes at a time when it is making some privacy changes. Twitter has already explained that above, but it is probably worth checking your privacy settings where you will find that you can disable some relevant stuff, including: "Twitter always uses some information, like where you signed up and your current location, to help show you more relevant content. This setting lets Twitter personalize based on other places you've been."

And: "This setting lets Twitter share certain private data (which will never include your name, email, or phone number) through select partnerships. Partners have agreed not to link your name, email, or phone number to data shared through these partnerships without first getting your consent".

Do Not Track recognises that it has not been a smash hit, and admits that it does really need big player backing.

"Do Not Track signals a user's opt-out preference with an HTTP header, a simple technology that is completely compatible with the existing web. While some third parties have committed to honor Do Not Track, many more have not," it explains on its website.

"We believe that Do Not Track could be a success, but at this stage, must be implemented through either a legal or technical requirement."

We don't wanna be dark guys, but you might want to start planning a funeral.



The Inquirer