Firefox 4 Beta Adds “Do Not Track” Feature

Mozilla has released Firefox 4 Beta 11, the newest version of the popular web browser. It not only adds several performance and stability improvements, but it implements a “Do Not Track” list to enhance user privacy.

Earlier this month, Mozilla announced its intention to implement “Do Not Track” in Firefox 4. Resurrected by the FTC in August 2010, the “Do Not Track” list essentially lets users opt-out of behavior tracking by advertisers through cookies and other browser-based methods.

“When the feature is enabled and users turn it on, web sites will be told by Firefox that a user would like to opt out of OBA,” Mozilla privacy lead Alex Fowler explained in a recent blog post. “We believe the header-based approach has the potential to be better for the web in the long run because it is a clearer and more universal opt-out mechanism than cookies or blacklists.”

Mozilla argues that the HTTP header approach sends a more universal opt-out signal to websites. You can check out the technical details if they interest you, but the goal is the same: give users the ability to tell advertisers that they do not want to be tracked for the purposes of targeted advertising.

The development of Firefox 4 is nearing the finishing line. Firefox 4 Beta 10 was release just two weeks ago, and it shouldn’t be long until a release candidate makes its debut.

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