Tracking Prevention and Online Privacy Protection
Proactive Tools to avoid remarketing and third-party tracking
Google Chrome has developed a Do Not Track Tool that makes it possible to avoid being tracked by online systems that may be following your internet movements for marketing or customer tracking purposes. Essentially, the tool is a feature in the Chrome browser that helps users opt-out of personalized advertising or data tracking features. The tool itself is called Keep My Opt-Outs and there is a site (aboutads.info/choices) that can be used to confirm this.
Meanwhile, the Firefox Do Not Track Tool has not been released at the time of this writing, but Mozilla indicates that a browser add-on for Firefox may be released shortly in order to help block unwanted internet tracking.
Microsoft Internet Explorer 9 also will have a feature for blocking tracking (whether it comes from Flash cookies or other media) but this browser has not yet been released.
What is remarketing? Remarketing involves showing ads to customers who have gone to a particular website, or a particular part of a website. For example, if you got halfway through the shopping process and stopped, a remarketing tracking tool could show you specific ads (like a 10% off coupon) on subsequent websites that you visit. Therefore, a window shopper might think that a particular site has a lot of marketing, or that they are suddenly finding a new offer as if by accident.
Notes and Special Information
Special note: No tool can guarantee total tracking protection, since malware and viruses may track your every move and keystroke. However, there are a lot more tools available that make your browsing patterns more anonymous whether you are using public computers, home connections, or other ways of getting online. What is going to be important for the future is anonymizing tools for smartphones and tablets, since this is where consumer electronics are going.