Many of your favorite websites, this one included, are supported by advertising. Companies try making the ads you see more relevant by “tracking” what you’re interested in. Say you just performed a Google search for a pair of tickets to Thailand. Now, pretty much any website you visit will have some sort of ad for those tickets. Some people might call that an invasion of privacy, while others simply call it good business.
Anyway, back in 2007 a bunch of people asked the American government to regulate online ads. Mozilla, in 2009, released a beta Firefox add-on that enabled “Do Not Track”. Pretty soon Microsoft jumped on-board, the “Do Not Track” concept became an easy enough standard to implement, and all this background information leads us to today’s story.
Google, in case you haven’t noticed, is an advertising company. Roughly 96% of their 2011 revenues came from those little blue links to cheap Viagra. When it comes to “Do Not Track”, the search giant kept on delaying putting it inside their browser, Chrome. Today that changes. According to AllThingsD, there’s now a beta version of Chrome’s browser that comes with the “Do Not Track” feature. Translation: At some point in the near future, whenever Google issues a software update, every Chrome user will finally get the chance to turn off tracking and all this controversy will disappear.
Let’s fast forward a few weeks and say you’ve turned on “Do Not Track”. Do the ads on the sites you visit go away? No, they don’t. Something worse happens; they become increasingly irrelevant. You know how men roll their eyes whenever a commercial for a women’s hygiene product starts playing on TV? Same principle.
We know some of you guys are smart enough to install ad blocking software, so you don’t even know what an advertisement is, but we want to remind you that those ads put a roof over our heads and food in our refrigerators. So please, turn off your blocker.