The actual “Do Not Track” functionality is accomplished via the browser. Right now the system is voluntary for publishers, who must recognize and respect the user request to opt out of cookies or other tracking. Internet Explorer from Microsoft offers a similar capability.
Chrome does not currently support Do Not Track, though Google has said it will in the future.
The Federal Trade Commission’s CTO, Ed Felten, just mentioned Twitter now supports Do Not Track. We applaud the FTC’s leadership on DNT.
— Twitter (@twitter) May 17, 2012
Firefox released international survey data that showed the presence of Do Not Track participation gives users more comfort and increases trust in publishers and others vs. those that haven’t adopted it:
We conducted a survey of more than 10,000 Firefox users representing 140 countries and we found some interesting results. The survey showed that 49% of users surveyed believe their privacy is respected more when Do Not Track is enabled, as opposed to only 12% who feel that way without the setting. Also, the survey found users’ trust increases for browsers, publishers and advertisers who support Do Not Track. We will share more details and specific survey results soon.
Facebook may come under pressure to support Do Not Track but for now the company is mum on the issue. That’s because its model is based on tracking and data mining. However the company would win points with consumers, as the Firefox survey data suggest, if it were to give consumers the option.
Congress has yet to pass any comprehensive internet privacy legislation; however the US FTC continues to enforce privacy rules under existing authority. The Obama administration also issued a Consumer (Privacy) Bill of Rights that is designed to motivate consensus and voluntary cooperation among publishers and technology companies.